It was a double celebration for Ireland winger Andrew Trimble as Ulster made it five wins out of five against Montpellier at Ravenhill and he became Ulster’s most capped player in the Heineken Cup.
It was Trimble’s 58th appearance in Europe’s elite competition surpassing Ulster’s Director of Rugby David Humphreys.
Former international outhalf Humphreys played his final game in Europe on the same weekend six years ago against Bougoin.
“I’m really proud of that and really delighted,” beamed Trimble.
“David Humphreys is a person I would look up to as a youngster and a professional.
“To pass his record makes it that little bit special,” he added.
Ulster have to win at Welford Road on Saturday if they want to clinch their first home quarter final since Toulouse in 1999 - which went on to see Humphreys lift the European Cup at Dublin as Ulster became the first Irish Province to succeed in Europe.
Trimble said: “Six wins you’ll get through. We will now have to roll up our sleeves and do a bit of homework.”
In spite of missing many of their star names Ireland ouhalf Paddy Jackson admitted Montpellier made it a tough night for Ulster and denied Mark Anscombe’s side a vital bonus point.
“At times it was a bit frustrating,” he said.
“We were playing off the back foot quite a lot which made it difficult.
“A couple of our tries came from kicks and they were out to spoil our party.
“We knew it was always going to be difficult and their defence hit us hard and they had a blitz defence so it’s something we have to deal with in the future.”
Trimble may have ended up breaking fellow winger Craig Gilroy’s nose during the game.
With a try scoring opportunity presenting itself, Trimble and Gilroy collided and neither gathered a loose ball which could have sent the team on to getting a try scoring bonus point.
“I think I may have fractured his nose,” said Trimble.
Gilroy was a major doubt for this weekend game at Tigers.
Meanwhile, Paddy Jackson set up Ulster’s first try with a perfectly waited cross field kick for flanker Robbie Diack.
“The boys made it easy for me the call came from the outside so I just went for it and I’m happy enough with that.”
Jackson has fond memories of Welford Road but knows Ulster we have to be at their best to beat the English Premiership champions in their own back yard.
“My first Heineken experience was there (Welford Road) I think I got five minutes off the bench.
“I remember coming through the tunnel and there was a lot of noise being made and everyone was close to the pitch.
“It was one of those places where you want to go and games like these are the ones you want to play in so I’m looking forward to it.”