Ulster trudged to a facile victory over Treviso after some rugby broke out in Belfast last night. But they missed the all-important bonus point which could be crucial come the end of April.
With the pitch at the Kingspan Stadium initially looking like an Olympic-size swimming pool and with the constant rain still sweeping straight down the pitch at kick-off, errors were obviously a factor.
But tries by Jared Payne, Sean Reidy, and Charles Piutau saw them claim a victory of some sorts.
Teofilo Filo grabbed a deserved late consolation try for Treviso.
The aerial route was obviously the key operation in the conditions, a tactic liberally used by both teams.
The home side, though, took their time getting into their rhythm as initially the visitors were dictating play, particularly at the ruck and tackle area.
However, once Ulster got their set-piece working, Treviso looked very vulnerable with Payne trotting through a gap from a neat pass by Stuart Olding to score midway through the half. It was the only score of a dreadful half as the visitors continued to frustrate Ulster.
Despite flanker Francesco Minto spending time in the bin early in at the second half, Ulster still stuttered to put something credible together until the 53rd minute when Reidy crashed over close-in. Piutau, who was hardly involved for the first 55 minutes, got in on the act when he dived on an Olding grubber for try number three. The bonus-point try never looked like coming.
C Gilroy (Stockdale, 61), A Trimble, J Payne, S Olding, C Piutau, P Nelson (L Marshall, 55), R Pienaar (P Marshall, 76): C Black (Warwick, 55), R Herring (capt) (Andrew, 72), W Herbst (Lutton, 55), K Treadwell, F van der Merwe, R Wilson (Ross, 50), S Reidy (Browne, 67), M Coetzee.
L Sperandio; A Esposito, T Iannone, M Tagicakibau, A Buondonno (Pratichetti., 56); I McKinley, T Tebaldi Bronzini, 60); F Zani (Acosta, 62) L Bigi (Santamaria, 57), T Pasquali (Zanusso, 57); T Paulo, D Budd (capt), M Lazzaroni, F Minto (Gerosa, 73), R Barbieri (Zanini, 60).
Dan Jones (WRU).