Andrew Trimble has played in Heineken Cup quarter-finals before – three of them in fact. He has beaten Munster at this stage but has lost to both Saracens and Northampton Saints.
This season is different however. He is going into the last-eight of the Heineken Cup already winner, having won the Six Nations title with Ireland recently.
Andrew Trimble believes that his and many of his team-mates’ experiences with the Ireland squad could make a difference this Saturday night against Saracens.
“Chris (Henry), myself, Rory (Best), Paddy (Jackson) and Iain (Henderson) have experienced what it’s like to win something now,” he said.
“Hopefully that will give us a bit of a winning mentality and we can bring that through to benefit the squad.
“We can’t perform anything like we did in Cardiff last weekend. But usually a defeat like that brings the best out in us.
“We’ve produced big performances this season when we’ve been up against it and we have no option but to do the same against Saracens.”
Whereas Trimble recently signed a new long-term contract with the province, a number of other players are leaving Ulster in the summer.
Team captain Johann Muller is retiring, John Afoa is heading to Gloucester and Tom Court is moving to London Irish. Trimble says that could also be an extra motivating factor for the Ulstermen against Sarries.
“We’ve mentioned that a little bit,” admitted the Ireland winger. “It might be difficult to replace some of the players who are leaving so who knows if we’ll be in this position again.
“As much as it could be John, Johann and Tom’s last chance of winning something with Ulster, it might be the same for all of us.
“We’ve built over the past few years to the point where we’ve got this home quarter-final. But there’s only so many chances you’re going to get and we have to ensure we take the chance on Saturday.”
And what of the new Ravenhill – how much are the players looking forward to running out at the redeveloped stadium with an even bigger crowd behind them?
“The excitement is huge. Whenever we play a Heineken Cup at Ravenhill it is always special and I think with it being the knockout stages and with a bigger crowd than we’re used to, it will enhance everything that’s good about it,” added Trimble.