Ulster fly-half Niall O’Connor knows that success breeds confidence.
It’s true of individuals and of teams.
His 17-point contribution to Ulster’s 27-26 victory over champions Ospreys last Friday night underlined the fact.
The team felt good, as did he.
Tonight they — and he — will be aiming for another win, against Aironi, to add to last week’s triumph.
“The mood’s great. It’s a big relief to have got that win. Everybody’s in great form as a result and the confidence is there.
“I think that’s what we really needed — to get off to a good start, put in a good performance, get the win and then take that into this game in Italy,” he says.
The view among the supporters this week has been that Ulster showed real character against Ospreys in toughing out a win which, last season, would have been beyond them. O’Connor agrees.
“That same fixture last year — at home to Ospreys towards the end of the season — was one in which we had the lead at different stages of the game and managed to throw it away.
“On Friday night, while we gave away a couple of soft tries, we showed enough character and guts to come back and get the win.”