Ulster go into Saturday’s Guinness PRO12 derby against Munster on the crest of a wave after four wins in their last four games.
Director of rugby, Les Kiss saw his side defeat Toulouse back to back to give themselves a shot of making the last eight in the European Champions Cup while wins over Edinburgh and Connacht have put Ulster into the top four in the Pro12 while in contrast Munster travel to Belfast on the back of five defeats but Ireland winger Andrew Trimble knows form goes out the window in a derby.
“There are two ways of looking at that, that one win becomes more elusive when you haven’t had it in a few weeks but at the same time potentially they could be more dangerous as a result they are more desperate to get that win and they could come up here to get that result,” said Trimble.
“I think they are dangerous at the minute and not that far away from clicking, they are playing good rugby throwing it about, they are stretching defences and holding onto the ball for long periods, hopefully if our defence stays as patient as it has been just be as smart and keep our spacing and be more patient than they are with the ball but we’ll need to keep our wits about us.”
“There is no point in us having this momentum unless we capitalised on it, it is a really good opportunity with Leinster above us in the league and they have a difficult fixture against Connacht, all the local derbies over the Christmas period in the league are tough and there will be a few unusual results along the way, we just worry about ourselves get our stuff sorted and make sure we know where we’re at hopefully produce a big one.”
Trimble will be winning his 200th Irish cap on Saturday and has relished facing Munster down the years.
“The big one was the quarter final down there, there have been a couple of battles up here, there was one where wee Marshy harassed O’Gara for a drop goal in the last minute I think those two fell out that night, that was a big night it went to the wire and they always do and be thriller, those are the two that stand out.”
Trimble has had his fair share on injuries during his career and admits he is still troubled by a hip flexor injury he suffered earlier in the season.
“To be honest it’s still there I’ve played with it week in and week out I don’t think anyone goers out onto the pitch and feels 100% fit, you get by maybe being 95 or 96% and for me I’m getting by ok and we’re winning and I want to keep the momentum going and express myself a bit better and get on the end of plays, I don’t want a break I want to keep playing but the problem with that is it’s difficult to do extras and stay on your feet as long, I wasn’t on my feet on Tuesday for the team session and I feel 100% better on Wednesday because of it and they are looking after me in training I don’t want to become one of this old boys that can’t do it.”
Trimble returned to try scoring form with touchdowns in both Toulouse games.
“Doaky was calling me the Sahara there because it had been a bit of a dry patch because I’d only scored one against Cardiff up until the Toulouse game then I got a couple in a row.”
Trimble will be in Dublin on Sunday for an Ireland squad get together and could come up against Simon Zebo on Saturday but has dismissed the game as an Iris trial.
“It’s not the be all and end all there is still a few weeks to go before the Six Nations I think it would be a little short sighted to look at games like that, I think this will be about Ulster trying to keep our momentum going and Munster trying to turn the tide a bit, I don’t think we can look any further than that and it’s a big challenge for us.”
Trimble believs Ulster have the prefect blen in the coaching staff to lift a trophy since his first season in 2006.
“Anyone who knows Les knows that he knows what he is talking about, he kind of cracks the whip and just makes sure standards are sky high, I think the combination of coaches we have at the minute with Doaky, Joe, Clarky and Nialler I think there is a lot of creativity and then Les will bring the other side making sure everybody is switched on and we know exactly what we are doing this weekend and that we continue to drive our standards to that level that is required because if we drop of our standards we’ll get chinned this weekend, you can only look after your own stuff, get your standards right and get out and produce a big win.”
“There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes, Clarky with the restarts, Nialler with the skills, Joe with the defence which has been very impressive the last few weeks and then Doaky with a little bit of creativity and Les just brings it all together, we have a really good balance at the minute and hopefully that continues.”