Ulster success would be ideal way for Andrew Trimble to finish a remarkable season

Andrew Trimble
Andrew Trimble

Ireland winger Andrew Trimble has had a season to remember, but he wants to see it finish with Ulster winning some silverware.

Trimble’s return to the Irish jersey after a long spell in the cold saw him go on to start in all five Six Nations matches and end with him picking up a championship medal.

The Ulster star was recently voted IRUPA ‘Players’ player of the year’ which followed a hat-trick of gongs at the Ulster Rugby Heineken send of season awards.

He was also named as one of the wingers in the RaboDirect PRO12 team of the year as selected by the media.

This weekend the RaboDirect PRO12 semi-finals will be staged with Glasgow taking on Munster on Friday night and then a cracking Irish derby between Leinster and Ulster on Saturday evening at the RDS in Dublin.

Almost a year ago the sides met in the Grand PRO12 final, with Leinster taking the honours after a tight contest.

Ulster had completed the double over their rivals in the regular season.

This season, Leinster have already completed the league double over Munster, most recently a 22-20 success at Ravenhill.

Ulster played 65 minutes with 14 men after Tom Court was red carded - subsequently suspended for two weeks by an independent disciplinary panel.

Leinster ensured top place in the league - given them the right to host the final if they reach it - with a grind it out win over Edinburgh on Saturday evening.

With a number of key players possibly returning from injury to play this weekend, among them Ruan Pienaar, Robbie Diack and Rory Best, Ulster will be in a strong place to change the statistics of this year.

It is a challenge Trimble is looking forward to.

Speaking after a workout at Core Gym, a new high intensity training complex in Coleraine which was opened to the public last week, Trimble said it was great to have ensured the season was extended, but none of the players wanted it to end with another loss to Leinster.

“We owe them (Leinster) something,” said Trimble. “They have a great record at the RDS in recent seasons, but one of their few defeats in Dublin was to us last season.

“Last season we beat Leinster home and away and then went on to lose to them in the Rabo final.

“We have lost home and away to them in the league this season, so hopefully it is the reverse.

“When you get into knockout rugby, anything can happen. We are looking forward to it.”

There was a lot of expectation for Ulster this season, particularly having reached the Heineken Cup quarter-finals going through their pool phases with a 100 per cent record.

But against Saracens, and down to 14 men for most of the game, Ulster came up short by two points.

Trimble said: “It was hard to take. I think the real disappointment was that even we were down to 14 men it was a game we probably should have still won.

“We have to put it behind us, we have got ourselves in the mix again for silverware in the PRO12 and that is the most important thing.

“It’s a case now of winning two games. If we do that we lift silverware.

“Easier said than done, but it is a huge incentive. We feel it’s a big, big chance for us to win a trophy.”

Trimble admits he enjoyed the season to date and said he had the bit of luck a player needs sometimes.

“I was given the opportunities and with Ireland I took it and it all worked out really well with being in the team that won the Six Nations.

““Definitely, I’m very proud of how the season went, but I’m determined to end it on another high.”