History can be a funny thing. It can either weight you down or inspire you to levels you only dreamed of. For Andrew Trimble history awaits itself this Saturday in the Aviva stadium.
Trimble and his Ulster teammates stand on the cusp of going to a place where no Ulster team has gone since 1999. A Heineken Cup final.
A win against Edinburgh this weekend would not only set up a potentially historic all Ireland Heineken Cup final should Leinster defeat Clermont on Sunday, but it will give Ulster a chance to end a barren period in European rugby’s greatest club competition.
To get to this stage Ulster have had to do it the hard way. They manged to come out of a pool that consisted of fellow semi finalists Clermont, European heavyweights Leicester Tigers and Aironi.
If that wasn’t tough enough they only drew two time winners Munster, in their own back yard in Thomand Park, in the quarter finals. So given all that did Andrew Trimble expect to leave Limerick with a win?
“I did imagine that, but I don’t know if I ever thought it would come through. There is such a long gap between your last pool game and the quarter final and you spend a lot of time building it up in your own mind.
“We wanted to win that game (against Munster) so badly. It was a really amazing experience to win a game like that.”
That victory over Munster not only put Ulster into the last four of the Heineken Cup but it also allowed them to overcome a huge mental barrier of loosing vital games at this stage of the season. That is something, Trimble says, that has been gnawing away at Ulster for some time.
“It may be that we are backing up what we are saying but there is a buzz around the camp at present. There is something special happening in Ulster Rugby at the moment.
Having been apart of the Ulster setup for a number of years now and having been through the low times Trimble admits that it’s good to have the good times back at the province.
“I’m just so so happy to be apart of it at the moment. After playing for Ulster for seven/eight years it’s just so so exciting to see what’s happening.
“We just want to keep developing this feeling that is going on in Ulster at the moment.”
Along with the pressures that any Heineken Cup semi final brings, Ulster also carry the extra load of been hot favourites against Edinburgh. While that position is unusual for Ulster, Trimble expects them to cope with the tag.
“If we can cope with been the underdogs in Thomand Park then it’s just another step to be good as the media and our supporters expect us to be.”
Ulster will have to be that god on Saturday as Edinburgh come to Dublin having knocked out the much vaunted Toulouse in the last round and Trimble is full aware of just how tough it will be.
“Edinburgh are a quality side. They seem to always play well against us, and visa versa they always seem to bring the best out in us. We will have to be at our very best to beat them.”