Strangely left out of Glasgow’s starting line-up for what was expected to be his last ever home match for a club he had served superbly, DTH van der Merwe finally got his chance to make a difference with just 13 minutes of the 2015 Pro12 semi-final against Ulster remaining and how he seized it.

The winger, who was moving to the Scarlets at the end of that campaign, applied the finish to a score that some consider to be Glasgow’s best ever, their only try of the match which allowed Finn Russell to snatch victory with a touchline conversion.

“It’s a pretty fond memory,” van der Merwe says of that touchdown.

“I think winning the league was actually better than that, but it was pretty special, coming off the bench, then scoring the final try, but in end Finn had a really tough kick to get us over.”

While they had been largely out-thought and out-played, their belief brought them through.

“I think that season we had a lot of confidence in the squad, if you look back at the games we played that season you just never felt that we would lose a game,” said van der Merwe.

“Obviously we didn’t have a perfect record, but we always felt that season it doesn’t matter if we’re a down a few points, we can always come back and win the game. That built a lot of confidence in the squad and in that particular game the confidence was at the back of our minds.”

This season they have arrived in the play-offs with even more reason to consider themselves worthy of being there, van der Merwe noting that whereas there was an over-reliance on the gam-breaking abilitiies of Fijian double act of Leone Nakarawa and Niko Matawalu, they have developed wider weaponry under the coaching of two-time Super Rugby winner Dave Rennie who brought him back to Scotstoun last year.

“It’s a similar feeling right now,” he said.

“We’ve been playing some good rugby, probably better rugby than we were playing then. We probably had the flair from Niko and Leone, they created a lot of stuff but now we have a whole squad of guys who can put their hands up for selection.

“It doesn’t matter who’s playing, look at the likes of Tom Gordon who hasn’t had a shot until the end of the season and then he’s man of the match. He’ll be hoping to be involved this week as well. Everyone’s buzzing to get better.”

In saying so, there is an awareness that it will need far more complete performances than proved sufficient four years ago when Ireland’s provinces were going through a rare and very brief period of decline, in contrast to this season when they supplied three of the four European Champions Cup semi-finalists.

“I think everyone’s getting better,” van der Merwe acknowledged.

“Look at Treviso pushing for play-off spots now. Everyone’s better and defences are better so we have to keep competing as a squad and bring in the right type of guys to add to your team and that’s what we’ve done with Adam Hastings now leading the attack.”