Winger Andrew Trimble felt Ulster’s eight try bonus point demolition of Connacht at Ravenhill was the perfect response to going out of the Heineken Cup against Saracens a week earlier.
Trimble continued his rich view of form by scoring three tries and picking up the man of the match accolade.
With Ospreys defeating leaders Leinster and Glasgow Warriors winning in Limerick against Munster, Ulster moved into second spot in the table giving them a realistic chance of making the play-offs in at least second place.
Another interesting statistic from Friday night’s win over Connacht was that Ulster never conceded a penalty all evening - a remarkable stat in the game in this modern day.
Most important from the Irish derby game was Ulster taking five points from the home win and putting their fate right back in their own hands.
The controversial loss to Saracens six days earlier in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals was still raw going into the PRO12 clash but Ulster gave the perfect response in front of another packed house at Ravenhill.
Trimble said: “After the disappointment of last weekend we got together on Tuesday and we were licking our wounds.
“It was important we came out and played with a bit of physicality and accuracy and make sure we got the job done.
“I think it was a pretty mature performance, we worked hard and got the job done and everyone is pretty happy.
Trimble’s third try was his 300th point in an Ulster shirt.
“I’m delighted it was my first ever hat-trick, it was one of those nights were there were plenty of tries going round so you try to find yourself in the right place at the right time so I was happy enough.”
“I t was nice to get over the line a few teams.
Ulster have a tough run in playing the other three of the top four teams so it was paramount they got maximum points against Connacht.
“We have three really tough games with a break in between after Glasgow.
“The Ospreys have done us a bit of a favour it’s put us back on track because we were so gutted after last weekend. We’re in the hunt now and first or second seed isn’t out of the question, there is a bit of work to do and we have a goal now and everybody is on board.”
Trimble added: “If we can get first it would be brilliant but we’ve got to play Leinster and we probably need them to drop a few more points which is asking a bit much.
“As far as we are concerned we have to win three games which is going to be tough we just have to roll up our selves and we have a lot of work to do.”
“They was bits of a good performance against Connacht and they threatened us , it was a good hit out.”
“It would have been disappointing if we’d still been feeling sorry for ourselves and got chinned by Connacht, they are a side that can put you to the sword.
“But we stuck to our game and got what we needed.”