Pro12: Benetton Treviso 13-32 Ulster
|Benetton Treviso (3) 13|
|Tries: Steyn Con: Hayward Pens: Hayward 2|
|Ulster (6) 32|
|Tries: Reidy, Cave, Scholes, Olding Cons: Humphreys 2, Olding Pens: Humphreys 2|
Ulster maintained their challenge for the Pro12 title as they handed a 26th straight defeat to Treviso, with the Irish side also earning a bonus point.
Two Ian Humphreys kicks put Ulster 6-3 up after a scrappy first half as a few promising Treviso moves came to nought.
However after Jayden Hayward's second levelling penalty, Ulster cut loose.
Sean Reidy's try edged Ulster ahead with Darren Cave, Rory Scholes and fit-again Stuart Olding adding further scores before Braam Steyn's late reply.
Olding showed he has lot none of his attacking instincts as he made an impressive return to action after 10 months out because of a serious knee injury.
The young centre's break helped set up Cave's 58th-minute try which effectively broke Treviso's resistance and Olding's 72nd-minute score ensured Ulster's bonus point.
The victory moves Ulster up to fifth spot in the table, three points behind leaders the Scarlets, but the Irish province have a game in hand on the Welsh club.
With New Zealand-born full-back Hayward looking dangerous, Treviso showed some attacking intent in the first half but they lacked sufficient cutting edge to trouble the Ulster defence.
Hayward eventually cancelled out Humphreys's early penalty to level in the 33rd minute but the Ulster fly-half restored his team's lead a minute before the break after an Olding break.
Treviso pressure yielded a second levelling Hayward penalty in the 49th minute but Ulster were ahead again within four minutes as Reidy finished off a perfect line-out maul, with Humphreys adding the conversion.
Cave's try put further daylight between the teams five minutes later and Scholes ran in Ulster's third try in the 63rd minute after intercepting a loopy midfield pass from Sam Christie.
Olding's successful return was topped off by his 72nd-minute score and Steyn's late reply was little consolation for the home side, who have not earned a win in any competition since their home victory over Cardiff Blues last February.
Treviso: J Hayward; L Nitoglia, E Bacchin, A Sgarbi (capt), T Iannone; S Christie, A Lucchese; Alberto De Marchi, R Santamaria, S Ferrari; F Palmer, T Palmer; Andrea De Marchi, M Lazzaroni, R Barbieri.
Replacements: L Bigi for Santamaria 16, C Traore for Alberto De Marchi 58, F Filippetto for Ferrari 42, J Montauriol for T Palmer 63, B Steyn for Barbieri 58, J Ambrosini for Lucchese 66, S Ragusi for Nitoglia 58, A Pratichetti for Bacchin 68.
Ulster: L Ludik; R Scholes, D Cave, S Olding, C Gilroy; I Humphreys, P Marshall; C Black, R Herring (capt), R Lutton; A O'Connor, F van der Merwe; C Ross, S Reidy, R Wilson.
Replacements: J Andrew for Herring 72 mins, A Warwick for Black 58, B Ross for Lutton 62, P Browne for O'Connor 62, L Dow for Ross 63, D Shanahan for P Marshall 73, L Marshall for Humphreys 60, J Stockdale for Gilroy 72.