Leinster v Ulster: Ricky Lutton frustrated by lack of action with Ulster
With his 30th birthday just three months away, prop Ricky Lutton knows he has to seize every chance he is given in an Ulster jersey.
Having forced his way back into the reckoning at the tail end of last season, the sight of Lutton among the replacements, where he will once again be tonight against Leinster at the RDS, has been a familiar one this term.
By the time the Belfast Harlequins man entered the fray against Saracens last weekend, the tide had long since turned and, having made an impressive cameo off the bench against Newport two weeks prior, as well as being due to start the postponed Oyonnax game, he admits the wait to get into the action was a frustrating one.
"It was disappointing but that's the nature of it,"he said.
"With what happened in Paris, it was the right call not to play the (Oyonnax) game and I can't get hung up on losing out on that start. I'm not owed that or anything like that. It's out of your control."
That irritation was hardly helped by what transpired on the pitch in Europe, Saracens adjusting after a couple of penalty calls went against them to wrestle control of the set-piece and Lutton believes that his side must do better at complying with the referee's wishes during a tie.
"It was a real battle," he said. "We got those couple of penalties early on but they did speak to the referee, find out what he wanted and adapted to it.
"That's the sign of a good team and fair play to them. By the end they probably were on top in the set-piece, both scrum and line-out. They got a maul try at the end which is really disappointing from our point of view but we can take the positives out of how well we did early on.
"Maybe the lesson is just that we can't wait for half-time or full-time to say what we should be doing, we need to adapt as we go."
A return to the RDS tonight takes Lutton back to the scene of his first PRO12 start, a March evening back in 2013 when he went toe to toe with Cian Healy in a season in which the Leinster loosehead went on to become a Lion as Ulster claimed their only win in Dublin since 1999.
"I've happy memories down there and there's quite a lot of the squad were in the team that day," he recalled.
"We can take a lot from that.We know we can do it and have the confidence to do it but we also know how much work it will take to win down there."