Treviso edge out Connacht
December 2, 2011
Treviso recorded their third away win of the season over Connacht
© Getty Images
Treviso recorded their third away win of the season with a narrow 15-13 win over Connacht in Galway.
The sluggish home side gave the Italians a 15-0 headstart as Brendan Williams and winger Tommaso Iannone crossed the whitewash. A terrific individual effort from David McSharry closed the deficit to eight points by half-time, taking advantage of Fabio Semenzato's sin-binning.
Niall O'Connor landed two second-half penalties while Manoa Vosawai was yellow carded, but knock ons and turnovers blighted Connacht's attempts to stave off their eighth successive defeat. The westerners faced into driving sheets of rain in the first half but made a positive start. John Muldoon was prominent in a couple of early drives before O'Connor knocked a tricky penalty attempt short.
Big Fijian Vosawai had to put in a vital tackle on the advancing McSharry, but Treviso took a 12th minute lead against the run of play. Willem de Waal punished the hosts for a lineout infringement and some electric interplay between the the fast-breaking Ludovico Nitoglia and Williams netted the game's first try.
Nitoglia scampered away from Tiernan O'Halloran, sparking a superb attack which split the Connacht defence and Williams sent him in by the posts. The conversion was added by De Waal and the Italians took advantage of a hesitant Connacht back-line to pick off their second try. The ball was hacked on twice before young winger Iannone won the foot race to touch down in the corner.
Connacht forwards heaped pressure on the visitors from the restart, scrum half Semenzato earning a yellow card for killing the ball close to his try-line. McSharry weaved in and out to create the opening for his first try in Connacht colours, showing admirable strength to make it over as Treviso scrambled back.
Connacht began to use their maul to good effect either side of half-time, but O'Connor missed a kickable penalty wide after Paul Derbyshire was pinged at a ruck. Treviso kept things tight, winning a scrum against the head and picking and driving downfield. Yet Vosawai's carding for not rolling away allowed O'Connor squeeze the gap back to five points.
Rodney Ah You came off the home bench to solidify their scrum and David Gannon and Ray Ofisa increased their influence in the loose, with O'Connor firing over his second successful penalty.
With a quarter of an hour remaining, Connacht had enough momentum to get a winning score but they ruined a number of promising situations. Muldoon's surging run was the best of them but the ball was duly fumbled and Treviso, with their forwards in abrasive form, tenaciously held on.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup
The reopening of the openside debate, a dominant wolf-pack and a sublime performance in defeat - Monday Maul looks at the weekend's talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Rugby Championship alongside the best photographs from around the domestic game