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.
But it appeared the Italian side were heading to victory - after a controversial 72nd minute penalty try - until replacement scrum half Paul O'Donohoe crossed the line and Dan Parks converted, the match finishing deadlocked.
The hosts' number 10 Alberto di Bernardo opened the scoring with a penalty after the visitors infringed at the ruck after just three minutes.
But Connacht then took control of a fixture rearranged after the original match was called off because of a waterlogged pitch last month.
After 16 minutes a great lineout catch set up Fetu'u Vainikolo and the Tongan winger's brilliant turn of pace left Treviso trailing and visiting supporters beaming, with Parks threading the resulting conversion through the posts.
After two previous misses, Parks slotted his first penalty just before the interval to give the westerners a 10-3 buffer to take into the second half.
But Eric Elwood's men were on the back foot after the break, with Treviso head coach Franco Smith warning his charges that nothing less than a victory would do if they were to achieve their ambition of finish in the top half of the league.
di Bernardo reduced the deficit with another penalty and then converted after a Parks clearance was charged down and Edoardo Gori scored the hosts' first try.
This was an attritional battle and the game continued to stay close through a pulsating second half, with Parks kicking Connacht level again with another penalty.
di Bernardo and Parks continued to exchange penalties and silly infringements continued to cost both sides dear and calling a winner was all but impossible heading into the final ten minutes.
Connacht's defence was being tested to the limit and it buckled eight minutes from time when the referee awarded a penalty try after some serious pressure in the scrum.
di Bernado converted to give Treviso a seven-point lead to defend as they appeared to edge closer to their tenth win of the season.
But replacement O'Donohoe made a vital contribution at the death, his converted try keeping the province above Cardiff Blues and on course to finish a credible eighth for the second year running.
|Benetton Treviso Score Card|
|Alberto di Bernardo||2||3||13|
|Connacht Rugby Score Card|