19 May, 11:13
There are six uncapped players in the Ireland squad for the summer tour to North America that was named this morning. An Emerging Ireland squad has also been selected for the Tblisi Cup in Georgia.
There was also an outstanding all-round display from teenager Stuart Olding in the centre, including a fine individual try.
Mark Anscombe's side have now slipped to second in the RaboDirect PRO12 table. They are level with Glasgow Warriors on 61 points, but the Scots boast a superior scoring difference.
The Ulster back-line was strengthened by the return of Darren Cave at outside centre and Jackson, Ulster's nominated kicker for the night in advance of Ireland's Six Nations clash with France next weekend, while Rob Herring, Declan Fitzpatrick, Lewis Stevenson, Iain Henderson and Mike McComish all returned up front.
Alberto di Bernardo kicked the visitors into a fourth minute lead courtesy of a central penalty, but a succession of handling errors stymied their next three phases of possession.
By the 10th minute Ulster had firmly imposed their stamp on the game. Although Jackson narrowly missed an angular penalty from the 10-metre line at this juncture, his kicking from open play proved excellent, gaining Ulster more and more territorial advantage as the first quarter wore on.
The breakthrough came on 10 minutes. From a well-executed lineout, Andrew Trimble latched onto Ruan Pienaar's lay-off to split open the Treviso defence with a fine step and turn of pace. Jackson added the extras to the winger's try.
After the injured Cave had made way for Chris Cochrane, Jackson added three more points through a penalty he had himself earned, with the Italians not rolling away in the tackle after his smart dummy in midfield.
Then strong running, again from Trimble and virtually the full complement of the pack, took Ulster to within metres of the try-line once more, until a knock on put paid to the fluent and promising move.
With the Italians reduced to 14 men after Tommaso Iannone was sin-binned for grabbing onto Trimble's shirt as the winger chased a loose ball, Ulster wasted little time in taking full advantage.
Olding showed a good turn of pace to outstrip a number of Treviso chasers and score his second try in as many outings. Jackson kept up his impressive kicking percentage with the conversion to make it 17-3.
There was still time in an action-packed first half for Henderson to join Iannone in the sin-bin for hands in the ruck. Olding then produced a brawny try-saving tackle in the corner as the Italians looked set to score.
But their openside flanker Dean Budd eventually went over after several minutes of intense pressure, and di Bernardo closed out the half with a well-angled conversion.
As the second period got underway, Jackson restored the province's 10-point advantage with a 47th minute penalty.
No sooner had Henderson returned to the pitch than Stevenson took his place in the bin, the lock seeing yellow for a neck-high tackle.
His absence was felt immediately as Budd's back row colleague Robert Barbieri bludgeoned his way over from the restart to level the try tally at two apiece. The subsequent conversion from di Bernardo left Treviso a mere three points adrift.
Jackson then took centre stage again. Undeterred when his 53rd minute penalty fell just short of the posts from distance, the former Ireland Under-20 captain followed up with a perfect kick from the 10-metre line three minutes later.
An excellent kick to touch followed on the hour mark, putting Treviso under further pressure in their 22, but the Italians cleared well and bounded upfield with gusto in the hope of an Ulster error as the ball came down.
Ricky Andrew gathered well but saw his clearance charged down, and Budd beat Jackson to the ball as it bobbled around behind the whitewash for his second try of the encounter.
The extras followed from di Bernardo as the visitors moved ahead for the first time since the opening minutes, leading 24-23.
Jackson responded well to huge pressure with his fourth successful penalty of the night in the 70th minute, which was retaken after the Italians had prematurely charged his first attempt.
Another surefooted strike from the new Ireland cap looked to have put the result beyond doubt with Treviso again infringing, this time at a crucial scrum deep in their 22.
But Treviso simply poured straight back down the opposite end and they capitalised on some hesitant Ulster defending to pinch the ball at a maul, supplying that man Budd for his third try in the corner.
Mercifully for the Ulstermen, di Bernardo's acutely-angled conversion attempt missed the posts which proved to be the final action of the match.
|Ulster Rugby Score Card|
|Benetton Treviso Score Card|
|Alberto di Bernardo||3||1||9|