Ulster did enough to secure victory on their first away trip of the 2016/17 Guinness Pro12 campaign, putting three tries past a much-improved Benetton Treviso side this afternoon at a sultry Stadio Monigo.
Despite a somewhat patchy performance from Les Kiss' side which saw the hosts enjoy much of the possession and register a late try of their own, scores from Luke Marshall, Rob Herring and Ruan Pienaar - the latter two having already opened their accounts in the last week's season-opener at Kingspan Stadium - made the difference.
Featuring six changes from the starting XV which defeated Newport Gwent Dragons in Round One, Ulster lined up with Louis Ludik at full-back, the youthful pairing of Rob Lyttle and Jacob Stockdale on the wings, and full internationals Marshall and Stuart Olding - earning his 50th cap - in the centre.
Brett Herron continued at out-half with last week's man of the match Pienaar wearing nine; while in the pack props Kyle McCall and Rodney Ah You took over from Callum Black and Ross Kane, the latter taking a place on the bench. Herring led the side from hooker, with lock Kieran Treadwell making his first Ulster appearance alongside Franco van der Merwe. Last week's back row of Clive Ross, Sean Reidy and Roger Wilson all retained their starting berths.
Clad in blue, Ulster's strong start with four minutes of unsurrendered possession culminated in a try for Marshall off Olding's short pass, converted by Pienaar before a speedy kick-and-chase from Lyttle on his right wing almost had the youngster in for his third try in only his second outing.
At this stage, however, the balance of power shifted somewhat in Treviso's favour, where it would stay for the remainder of the half. Firstly a lucky escape for Ulster saw Tommaso Allan squander three easy points as his penalty sailed wide after Marshall had come in from the side, but a sustained spell of Treviso pressure followed, alleviated only on the 25-minute mark by a knock-on from Filo Paulo.
Then an Italian steal at the lineout got Jayden Hayward to inches from the Ulster try-line before play was pulled back for a penalty, dispatched this time by Allan. The concession momentarily sparked Ulster back into life, Pienaar landing a penalty on the half-hour, but once winger Andrea Buondonno had missed with a kick of his own from distance, a series of defensive errors from the visitors gifted Allan his second points of the encounter.
Treviso continued to edge the game as the break approached, but a late infringement on Olding gave Pienaar the chance to test his long-range kicking, the scrum-half eventually clipping the post from just short of half-way.
Half-Time Score Benetton Treviso 6 Ulster 10
Strong carrying from Treadwell got Ulster deep into Treviso territory, but it was to prove the debutant's last contribution as he limped off with a knock to be replaced by Pete Browne. As the visitors contrived to lose possession via an overthrow at the lineout, Treviso again enjoyed the lion's share of possession until Pienaar's tap-and-go turned the tide and saw Paulo yellow-carded for a late tackle on Kane, a recent entrant for Ah You.
Ulster took full advantage of their numerical superiority within minutes, Herring grabbing his second try of the season from a well-marshalled rolling maul, and Pienaar's missed conversion soon looked immaterial as he touched down with ease on 57 after a huge carry from Ross had made the space for Stockdale down the left wing.
This time the Springbok converted, and despite the return of Paulo to the Italian ranks for the final quarter, Ulster pressed on for the bonus-point try - Herring too ardently for referee Dudley Phillips' liking, as he came into a ruck from the side and booked himself 10 minutes in the bin.
Treviso worked hard as the clock ticked down but failed to capitalise on their own numerical advantage and with only two minutes remaining a final Ulster drive came close to securing the bonus point, only for Ah You to be penalised metres from the line for coming into a maul from the side.
There was still time for some last-minute havoc as Treviso broke away through David Odiete's hack forward, Olding saw yellow for challenging the man before he had reached the ball, and Tomasso Benvenuti grounded from Ian McKinley's sweet chip to the corner to give the Italians a final tally which was much more representative of their performance.
Next up for Ulster in Round Three is a return to Kingspan Stadium to face Scarlets on Friday 16 September.
Full-Time Score Benetton Treviso 11 Ulster 22
Benetton Treviso (15 - 9) Jayden Hayward; Angelo Esposito, Tommaso Benvenuti, Luke McLean (c), Andrea Buondonno; Tommaso Allan, Giorgio Bronzini
(1 - 8) Simone Ferrari, Ornel Gega, Marco Fuser, Filo Paulo, Francesco Minto, Nicola Quaglio, Marco Lazzaroni, Marco Barbini
Replacements (16 - 23) Roberto Santamaria, Alberto De Marchi, Tiziano Pasquali, Filippo Gerosa, Dean Budd, Edoardo Gori, Ian McKinley, David Odiete
Ulster (15 - 9) Louis Ludik; Rob Lyttle, Luke Marshall, Stuart Olding, Jacob Stockdale; Brett Herron, Ruan Pienaar
(1 - 8) Kyle McCall, Rob Herring (c), Rodney Ah You, Kieran Treadwell, Franco van der Merwe, Clive Ross, Sean Reidy, Roger Wilson
Replacements (16 - 23) John Andrew, Andy Warwick, Ross Kane, Pete Browne, Robbie Diack, Angus Lloyd, Stuart McCloskey, Darren Cave