ANDREW TRIMBLE SOAKED up the applause at Ravenhill on Friday following Ulster’s 23-6 victory over Glasgow Warriors before immediately turning his focus to cap 151.
Trimble and Ulster can secure a home quarter-final if they beat Castres Olympique – a team they put 41 points on in October – in France.
Speaking to Ulster Rugby about the milestone, Trimble paid tribute the man who put him on the path to rugby success; his father, Maurice.
“In truth, I probably wouldn’t be playing for my province if it wasn’t for him.
He took me to matches when I was a kid, he taught me about the game – once he even confiscated a Premier League football album that I was given and replaced it with an Irish Rugby annual.
“Basically, he taught me to love the game.”
He added, ““I remember my first game. Tommy Bowe scored that night.
“I remember being in awe of the guys I was playing with – people like David Humphreys.
“I handled myself ok – as a 20 year old it’s a lot to take in, but I loved it – I still do now, more than seven years later.”
Trimble is Ulster’s all-time top try scorer with 49 scores in his 150 outings.
Seven tries have come this season, with four dot downs coming after he was axed from the Ireland squad in favour of his young provincial teammate Craig Gilroy.
With Nick Williams [seven tries] succumbing to a medial ligament injury, the scoring burden will revert to the backline in which Trimble and Jared Payne [also on seven tries] have excelled.
“I am certainly enjoying it more than I ever have,” he remarked. “It’s maybe easier to perform well in a team that is performing well.
“I think I am reading the game a bit better. I’m getting on the end of things quite a few times, so hopefully I can keep going.”
Something special going on
Following two defeats in three games in December, Ulster are back to winning ways with Pro12 and Heineken Cup wins to their credit.
“We are starting to dominate teams and we are winning games.
This season feels different to other seasons. We have managed to get a run of wins and we knew that we could kick on. It is 100% confirmed in my mind now that there is something special about this group of players.
There have been quite a few times this year that we have said – these next few games are the biggest of the season.
“It keeps happening and the matches are going to be more and more important as the season progresses. We just have to keep winning them.”