Pro12: Benetton Treviso 12-14 Ulster
BENETTON TREVISO (3) 12
- Pens: Berquist 4
ULSTER (7) 14
- Tries: Cave, Diack
- Cons: Pienaar 2
Ulster have moved up to third place in the Pro12 after struggling to a 14-12 win over Italian side Treviso at Stadio Monigo on Sunday afternoon.
Ulster centre Darren Cave sprinted in for a converted try to help the visitor's to a 7-3 lead at the end of an error-strewn first half.
Robbie Diack charged over for Ulster's second try but Mat Berquist's fourth penalty closed the gap to two points.
Ulster held on for the victory and a jump of two places in the table.
Treviso, hammered 75-7 by the Ospreys last weekend, made a strong start at a sun-kissed Stadio Monigo on Sunday afternoon.
The hosts pressed Ulster back and fly-half Berquist missed a penalty before making amends with the opening score after six minutes.
The visitors hit back with a try in their first meaningful attack five minutes later, Jared Payne making the break but the full-back was held up in the corner.
The ball was fed to Cave and the centre darted through a gap to touch down, with Ruan Pienaar adding the extras.
Ulster failed to build on their try, thwarted by handling errors and infringements, particularly in the scrum.
Treviso's threat faded while Ulster missed out on a second try just before the break.
Michael Allen chased Cave's clever chip but Andrea Pratichetti won the race for the ball and kept the Italians just four behind at half-time.
Berquist reduced the gap to one point with a penalty nine minutes after the restart but Ulster were soon eight clear.
Their second try came two minutes later with Diack's power and pace taking him through two tackles before barging over, despite a last-ditch challenge from Brendan Williams.
Pienaar slotted over the conversion but again Ulster failed to build any momentum from a try.
Berquist's third penalty on 57 minutes was followed by a fourth, making it 14-12 with nine minutes remaining.
A Treviso knock-on eased the pressure on Ulster in the closing minutes and they held on for an unconvincing win.
Mark Anscombe's team have leapfrogged Glasgow and Ospreys into third and trail new leaders Munster by 12 points.
Benetton Treviso: Williams, Nitoglia, Sgarbi, Bacchin, Pratichetti, Berquist, Semenzato, Muccignat, Sbaraglini, Fernandez-Rouyet, Pavanello, Bernabo, Vosawai, Swanepoel, Filippucci.
Replacements: Ceccato for Pratichetti (65), Di Bernardo for Semenzato (57), Lucchese for Sbaraglini (65), Acosta for Fernandez-Rouyet (73), van Zyl for Bernabo (50), Lubian for Vosawai (73). Not Used: Maistri, Van Niekerk.
Ulster: Payne, Gilroy, Cave, L. Marshall, Allen, Pienaar, P. Marshall, Court, Herring, Lutton, Muller, Stevenson, Diack, Doyle, Wilson.
Replacements: Scholes for Allen (52), Black for Court (41). Not Used: Annett, Macklin, McComb, McComish, Heaney, R. Andrew.
Ref: George Clancy (Ireland).