MARK ANSCOMBE’S Ulster team continued their unbeaten run to nine games tonight by beating Treviso by a single point in Italy.
But they had to hold their breath when Di Bernardo missed a penalthy at the death which would have given Treviso a win by two points.
However, Ulster held until the final whistle to win 16-15 over the northern Italian side in the RaboDirect Pro12 League.
It wasn’t the best of Ulster performances but as fans on Twitter tweeted: A win is a win, is a win.
Brendan Williams gave Treviso an early lead with a try before Peter Nelson slid over to score his first try for Ulster.
Ludovico Nitoglia touched down in the corner to to make it 15-10 to Treviso at the break but two Niall O’Connor penalties edged Ulster ahead.
Ulster’s poor line-outs gave Treviso hope but Alberto Di Bernardo missed a late penalty as the visitors held on.
Ulster made a ragged start and the opening try came when they lost ball from their own line-out on eight minutes.
Williams took a pass from Nitoglia before cutting inside and going over, with Di Bernado adding the conversion.
The visitors improved and Nick Williams stretched over but it went to the TMO, and with replays not conclusive a five-metre scrum was awarded.
Niall O’Connor opened Ulster’s account with a 20th minute penalty and young full-back Nelson slid in at the corner four minutes later after good work from Paul Marshall and Tom Court.
O’Connor’s excellent conversion from wide put Ulster 10-7 ahead but Treviso hit back with Di Bernardo levelling from a penalty.
Treviso finished the half strongly, their dominant line-out allowing Nitoglia the space to sprint in at the corner for an unconverted try.
Ulster upped the tempo after the break and O’Connor slotted over his second penalty in the 50th minute.
Williams was denied a try by the TMO for a second time, the flanker driving over amid a mass of bodies but with the replays again inconclusive.
O’Connor hooked a penalty wide before firing between the sticks on 58 minutes to put Ulster ahead.
Ulster’s dysfunctional line-outs gave Treviso encouragement although the Irish side held sway in the scrum.
Mike McComish was lucky to escape punishment when he caught Di Bernardo late as the fly-half cleared.
Di Bernado should have won it for the Italians a minute from time but the pressure told as he dragged his penalty well wide, allowing Ulster to chalk up their ninth win from nine Pro12 games.
Benetton Treviso: B Williams, G Toniolatti, C Loamanu, A Vilk, L Nitoglia, A Di Bernardo, F Semenzato, M Muccignat, F Sbaraglini, J Roux, M Fuser, C Van Zyl, V Bernabo, P Derbyshire, M Filippucci.
Replacements : E Ceccato, G Maistri, I Fernandez-Rouyet, F Giusti, A Pratichetti, A Esposito, J Ambrosini, L Morisi.
Ulster: P Nelson, A Trimble, J Payne, P Wallace, M Allen, N O’Connor, P Marshall; T Court, R Herring, D Fitzpatrick, R Diack, N McComb, N Williams, M McComish, R Wilson (capt).
Replacements: N Brady, C Black, J Afoa, J Simpson, A Birch, M Heaney, S Olding, C Cochrane.