5 Dec, 14:49
The Ireland Under-19 squad to face Australia Schools at Ravenhill on Saturday week (December 14) has been announced.
Benetton Treviso replied with a crisply-struck penalty from Alberto di Bernardo, but neither side managed to impress amid heavy rain showers and a strong wind.
Connacht closed out their third win of the league campaign, moving up to eighth place in the process, with a late try from fit-again captain Gavin Duffy.
Tiernan O'Halloran, fresh from training with the Ireland squad, made an early incision and man-of-the-match Dan Parks pinged the opening penalty through the posts in the seventh minute.
With the wintry conditions leading to multiple mistakes, Connacht were unable to make much headway although Parks provided some welcome direction from out-half.
The former Scotland international added a second penalty before showing great awareness to dink a kick through which led to the westerners' first try.
Young full-back Robbie Henshaw led the chase onto Parks' well-weighted kick, toe-poking it on and the onrushing Poolman did well to score in the right corner.
Parks converted with tremendous precision with the understrength Italians, despite Brendan Williams' best efforts, unable to threaten in the home 22. A malfunctioning lineout was their biggest cause for concern.
Treviso did improve in the second period and seemingly lifted their game after replacement Giulio Toniolatti saw yellow on the hour mark.
Out-half di Bernardo raised their hopes of a late push for a losing bonus point as he slotted a 61st minute penalty.
He struck the post with a second penalty attempt, eight minutes from time, before Connacht produced a strong finish to settle the issue.
Parks watched a penalty kick fade away to the right, but replacement John Muldoon's determined run from the restart took him past two defenders and the ball was worked wide for Duffy to dive in at the corner.
The Mayo man dotted down just moments after being brought on as a replacement, completing his comeback from a recent hamstring injury. Parks missed the conversion but Connacht were out of sight.
Speaking afterwards, Connacht head coach Eric Elwood said: "I'm delighted with the win and if someone had told me with the conditions being as bad as they were, we'd win two tries to nil, 18-3, I'd have bitten their hand off.
"The conditions were appalling last year as well when we played them and we came out the wrong end of it. We had a big focus this week on winning this 'must win' game.
"We defended very well in the end to deprive them of a try, so two tries to nil, 18-3, I am chuffed. It sets us up nicely now, it was just so important to get this win."
|Connacht Rugby Score Card|
|Benetton Treviso Score Card|
|Alberto di Bernardo||1||3|