23 May, 12:21
The Irish Rugby Supporters Club is delighted to announce that tickets for the GUINNESS Series 2013 will go on sale on ticketmaster.ie at 10am on Thursday, May 30.
Despite the reinforced strength of the Ulster team thanks to its illustrious returning players, Benetton Treviso competed tigerishly for the entirety of the 80 minutes.
Indeed, the Italians took an early lead courtesy of a second minute try from hooker Enrico Ceccato, converted out-half Kris Burton.
Ulster responded well, however, Ruan Pienaar kicking over three valuable points in the 17th minute.
A Chris Henry try followed soon after, with Pienaar adding the extras, before Burton contributed a drop goal and a penalty, either side of a second Pienaar penalty for the Ulstermen.
The South African scrum half then missed an opportunity to put the visitors ahead at the break, failing with a 39th minute penalty attempt.
A second drop goal from the opportunistic Burton moments into the second period put the Italians back into the driving seat.
As the game wore on towards its conclusion, the lead was cemented by replacement Alberto di Bernardo's try after 69 minutes.
But Ulster's spirit shone through and Paddy Wallace struck directly back two minutes later, with Pienaar once more on hand to convert.
And, in a real grandstand finish, Ian Whitten stood up for the Ulstermen mere seconds before the final whistle, stealing in for the try which sealed the victory and kept McLaughlin's chages in genuine top four contention.
Pienaar added his final conversion of the tie, and Ulster must now look to next Friday's crunch match at Ravenhill where Treviso's compatriots Aironi will be the visitors.
"Treviso put us under a lot of pressure this afternoon, it was a far from perfect performance but I thought that we showed tremendous character to pull back and get the away win against a side that was full of Italian internationals," admitted the Ulster coach afterwards.
"We put them under a fair bit of pressure in the first five minutes but then we turned the ball over the ball which they hacked down the pitch to score a fairly soft try and put us 7-0 down at the start.
"Treviso threw everything at us today and in the first half our scrum we were under a little bit of pressure, but we sorted that in the second half and we scrummed well.
"Paddy Wallace scored a magnificent try around the 70-minute mark to put us right back into the mix and bring us from 23-13 down right up to 23-20 once Ruan added the conversion and thankfully there was enough time on the clock for Ian Whitten's score which Ruan converted from the touchline."
McLaughlin added: "It was by no means a top class performance but we showed a lot of self belief to get the win and one we so badly needed to keep us in contention for a play-off spot in the PRO12.
"This win keeps our destiny, as far as a play-off spot is concerned, in our own hands. The competition is so tight.
"The Ospreys result at the RDS against Leinster last night really keeps them in contention and there's just a few points, if even, separating us from Glasgow, Cardiff, and the Scarlets. We all have everything still to play for so it's going to be a very exciting run-in."
Both Darren Cave and Johann Muller, who were making their first appearances following injury, were substituted in the second half but McLaughlin does not seem overly concerned at this stage.
"Darren took a knock on the nose and Johann got a bang to his throat and a bit of a dead leg. Both will be assessed tonight and tomorrow," he confirmed.
|Benetton Treviso Score Card|
|Alberto di Bernardo||1||5|
|Ulster Rugby Score Card|