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Ulster leave it late in Italy

24th March 2012 17:13

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Ian Whitten Ulster on the ground

Late winner: Ian Whitten

Ulster needed a try in the final minute from Ian Whitten to claim a 27-23 Pro12 win over Treviso at Stadio Monigo on Saturday.

Whitten's late score denied the Italian hosts both their first win of the year what would have been a memorable double over Ulster.

The home side got off to the perfect start and had a try within three minutes. The Ulster defence were put under considerable pressure, and Enrico Ceccato bundled over to put the hosts in front.

Kristopher Burton made no mistake with the extras and Ulster needed to respond after a sluggish start.

The Irish side did just that, and started playing some attractive rugby in the opening quarter, Ruan Pienaar slotting over a penalty to get them up and running after fifteen minutes.

Ulster were looking more and more likely to score a try of their own and midway through the half they got their reward with Chris Henry diving over to put the visitors in front. Pienaar added the conversion.

The game was very tight as the half hour mark approached, and when Kristopher Burton kicked a fine drop goal, the sides were level.

As half time approached, Ulster regained the lead from another Ruan Pienaar penalty, but Treviso were to have the final say of the half when Burton kicked a penalty of his own to leave them all square at the interval.

The hosts came out all guns blazing after the break, and regained the lead after five minutes, Burton again on target with a penalty.

Ulster had again started slowly, but neither side were able to add to the scoreboard as they went into the final quarter of the contest.

With ten minutes remaining, Treviso looked like they had put daylight between the teams when substitute Alberto Di Bernardo went over the whitewash, with Kristopher Burton on target with the extras.

However, just three minutes later, Ulster responded with another try of their own, Paddy Wallace eluding the home defence. Ruan Pienaar added the extras to set up a grandstand finish.

And Whitten 's score in the dying moments broke the locals fans hearts kept Ulster in the hunt for a play-off berth.

The scorers:

For Treviso:
Tries: Ceccato, di Bernardo
Cons: Burton 2
Pens: Burton
Drops: Burton 2

For Ulster:
Tries: Henry, Wallace, D'Arcy
Cons: Pienaar 3
Pens: Pienaar 2

Treviso: 15 Brendan Williams, 14 Tommaso Iannone, 13 Alberto Sgarbi, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Ludovico Nitoglia, 10 Kristopher Burton, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Manoa Vosawai, 5 Corniel Van Zyl, 4 Antonio Pavanello (c), 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Enrico Ceccato, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Franco Sbaraglini, 17 Matteo Muccignat, 18 Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet, 19 Valerio Bernaḅ, 20 Francesco Minto, 21 Gonzalo Padṛ, 22 Fabio Semenzato, 23 Alberto Di Bernardo.

Ulster: 15 Adam D'Arcy, 14 Craig Gilroy, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Stefan Terblanche, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Robbie Diack, 7 Willie Faloon, 6 Chris Henry, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Johann Muller (capt), 3 John Afoa, 2 Andi Kyriacou, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Nigel Brady, 17 Paddy McAllister, 18 Adam Macklin, 19 Lewis Stevenson, 20 Niall McComb, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Ian Whitten, 23 Nevin Spence.

Venue: Stadio Monigo
Referee: Leighton Hodges (WRU)
Assistant referees: Carlo Damasco, Alan Falzone (both FIR)
Citing commissioner: Achille Reali (FIR)
TMO: Stefano Marrama (FIR)

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