Benetton Treviso 9-11 Connacht
BENETTON TREVISO 9
- De Wall 3
- Ah You
- Jarvis 2
Connacht withstood a late rally by Benetton Treviso to earn a tense opening win in the RaboDirect PRO12 clash in Italy.
Willem De Waal's early Treviso penalty was cancelled out by a Matthew Jarvis kick before Rodney Ah You's try helped Connacht lead 8-3 at the interval.
Another Jarvis penalty extended Connacht's lead to eight before De Waal responded with two Treviso penalties.
Treviso produced late pressure but Connacht held on to take the win.
The Italians, whose squad has been disrupted with several World Cup call-ups, started brightly and twice came close to scoring the opening try and took a deserved lead courtesy of a De Waal penalty after eight minutes.
The South African fly-half then had the opportunity to double the hosts' advantage but missed what seemed an easy penalty.
The miss from de Waal seemed to galvanise Connacht who were level after 28 minutes when Matthew Jarvis scored a penalty of his own.
The visitors were in front at half-time thanks to Ah You's try with the New Zealander going over after some good work by lock Michael Stewart.
An attritional second half lacked clear-cut opportunities but Jarvis' second penalty after 56 minutes put Connacht further ahead and they held on to win the their first game of the new season despite De Waal's two further penalties..
Benetton Treviso: L Nitoglia; M Sepe, K Burton, A Pratichetti, B Williams; W De Waal, A Chillon; M Rizzo, F Sbaraglini, A Allori; A Pavanello (capt), V Bernabo; M Filippucci, F Minto, M Vosawai.
Replacements: D Vidal, M Muccignat, P Di Santo, G Padro, B Vermaak, S Picone, A Di Bernardo, B De Jager.
Connacht: G Duffy (capt); M McCrea, E Griffin, H Fa'afili, T O'Halloran; M Jarvis, F Murphy; R Loughney, A Flavin, R Ah You; M Swift, M McCarthy; J Muldoon, R Ofisa, G Naoupu.
Replacements: E Reynecke, D Buckley, D Rogers, TJ Anderson, J O'Connor, P O'Donohoe, N O'Connor, B Tuohy