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Dublin: 15 °C Wednesday 20 June, 2018
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Irishman McKinley guides Treviso back into Champions Cup with faultless kicking display

The Italians recorded a 19-3 victory over their rivals Zebre.

FORMER LEINSTER OUT-HALF Ian McKinley produced a faultless kicking display to help Treviso to a crucial 19-3 victory over Italian rivals Zebre which secures a place in next season’s Champions Cup.

Ian McKinley kicks at goal McKinley kicked four penalties and a conversion. Source: Giuseppe Fama/INPHO

With the two sides locked on 19 points heading into the final weekend, it was winner takes all at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi on Saturday evening and it was the visitors who prevailed largely thanks to the boot of McKinley.

The Irishman, who last week was called into Italy’s training squad ahead of their June Test series, slotted over four penalties as well as converting Marco Fuser’s first-half try.

With persistent rain making conditions difficult, McKinley held his nerve off the tee as Treviso pulled clear in the second half to finish the season in tenth with Zebre behind them in 12th.

Ian McKinley Conditions were difficult but McKinley showed his class. Source: Giuseppe Fama/INPHO

It was a brilliant end to the season for Treviso and, in particular, McKinley who has been able to resurrect his career in Italy after being forced to retire from professional rugby in 2011 having lost the sight in his left eye.

Last month, his form with the Italian club was rewarded when he signed a contract extension for the 2017/18 campaign.

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Ryan Bailey

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