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Trimble Targets Big Performance

Trimble Targets Big Performance

From the disappointment of a 3-0 Series defeat by New Zealand to a nine-match winning run with Ulster, Andrew Trimble has experienced a range of emotions on the pitch in recent months.

Back on international duty for the first time in four-and-a-half months, Andrew Trimble is brimming with confidence after playing in seven of Ulster’s nine straight wins under new head coach Mark Anscombe.

The winger has bagged three tries as the Ulstermen have soared to the top of the RaboDirect PRO12 and taken early control of Pool 4 in the Heineken Cup.

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But there is clearly a level of frustration when he looks back on this year’s summer tour and especially that final match in Hamilton, a 60-0 hammering by the All Blacks.

“It was a massive disappointment after the tour. It’s not a tour that any one of us is proud to have been on,” admitted Trimble, who is set to start against South Africa in Saturday’s GUINNESS Series opener.

“There’s frustration at getting beaten so badly. It’s a long time waiting to put things right. It’s not a performance we’re proud of and it’s something we want to put right.

“It can go one of two ways. You can dwell on it and divert down a bad path or you can bounce back from it. Hopefully we can bounce back.”

Ireland are without a victory since they beat Scotland at the Aviva Stadium back in March. They face into the upcoming Tests against the Springboks and Argentina without a number of big names but Trimble knows what this talented group of players is capable of.

“We were very close to beating the All Blacks in the second Test. It would be weak minded if we looked back and said we’re just not that good.

“Looking at it logically we’ve produced big performances over the last few years and we know that if we do that we’ll get big results.

“We know our performance against South Africa has to be immeasurably better than that third Test on the tour.

“We just have to look at the last couple of years and when we produce the big performances we are hard to beat and have had a couple of big wins.

“If we can deliver a big performance at the weekend and get that win, it could set us up for the rest of the season.”

The 28-year-old, whose 48 caps make him one of the most experienced members of the current squad, has fond memories of facing the ‘Boks at the old Lansdowne Road.

Almost six years ago to the day, Trimble burst onto a Ronan O’Gara pass to score Ireland’s opening try in a memorable 32-15 victory over a South African side that included Ruan Pienaar as their replacement scrum half.

“That day was one of my first caps. It was my second season with Ireland. It felt like was starting to impose myself,” he recalls.

“It was a performance that made me feel as if I deserved to be there. It gave me a lot of confidence.”

Trimble and Pienaar have since gotten used to playing together in the white of Ulster, but they will be on opposing sides again come Saturday evening. He will be aiming to ruffle the South African number 9, which he knows is not an easy thing to do.

“Chatting to Ruan this week I told him I found a picture of me handing him off in the face. He didn’t enjoy it as much as I did! But I definitely have fond memories of these guys,” added Trimble.

“He’s just chilled out, the most relaxed man I’ve ever met. He does the right thing 99% of the time. He’s very composed.

“You don’t often get the same panicking or giving out to boys – that’s what you want from your scrum half. He performs very well under pressure and does the right thing more often than not.

“And I think that’s something we have got to do. We’ll be doing well to get him flustered, but that’s what we’ve got to do, to put their decision makers under a lot of pressure, put them on the back foot and slow down their ball.

“At that stage then we have to ask big questions and see if he’s as calm under the pressure we’ll put him under.”