12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
Team captain Doug Howlett dashed through for a fifth minute try, in response to Alberto di Bernardo's opening penalty, and Munster foraged into a 16-3 lead by the break.
But that proved to be the only try of the game with Ian Keatley, who finished with 14 points, and di Bernardo kicking a penalty apiece in the second half.
The Italians started in good fettle, their pack providing a decent platform and full-back Brendan Williams threatened from deep.
They were kicked in front by out-half di Bernardo, but their lead lasted only two minutes as Munster quickly bit back at them.
Damien Varley threw over the back of a lineout to Dave O'Callaghan who burst forward and Howlett timed his support run to perfection as he took the flanker's superbly timed pass and thundered in under the posts.
Keatley converted and soon added his first penalty, with the home crowd enjoying Munster's eagerness to shift the ball wide and get their outside backs involved.
This attacking adventure under Rob Penney was a feature in the win away to Edinburgh last Saturday, but a forceful scrum also yielded points tonight. The Treviso front row popped up under the pressure and Keatley landed a 24th minute penalty.
The penalty count increased against the Italians, allowing Keatley to push the gap out to 13 points.
Franco Smith's men got no reward for a strengthening scrum and better share of territory late in the first half - a Luca Morisi counter attack might have led to a try but for a knock on from the supporting Williams.
After weathering an early storm from Treviso in the second period, Munster went in search of an elusive second try.
Keatley knocked on to spoil a brilliant break from Howlett and Casey Laulala, James Coughlan and Mike Sherry all went close during a purple patch for the province.
Treviso lost centre Alberto Sgarbi to the sin-bin for not rolling away, leaking a further three points to Keatley in the process.
Munster's dominance of territory merited more but they were unable to finish off their chances. Treviso came more into it late on, buoyed by di Bernardo's second penalty.
After previous warnings, Munster had replacement hooker Sherry sin-binned for hands in the ruck. Despite this, they were able to keep Treviso try-less and maintain their winning start to the league.
Giving his reaction afterwards, Munster head coach Penney was undoubtedly pleased with the result but would have liked to have seen his players put away more of their scoring chances.
"We dominated territory in both halves but just made errors at crucial times," explained the New Zealander, whose side are sitting second in the table.
There were passages in both halves where we were excellent and passages in both halves where we were just a bit impatient or just a bit impetuous with our passing.
"So, we've just got to keep building on what we're trying to do and get more accuracy. If half the opportunities had stuck it would have been a really nice performance I think, because we created so many."
|Munster Rugby Score Card|
|Benetton Treviso Score Card|
|Alberto di Bernardo||2||6|