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Bath match a game of two halves

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Tuesday's Guinness Premiership defeat against Bath Rugby at The Recreation Ground provided the perfect example of an old sporting cliché.

Having trailed 23-0 at the end of the first period, Tigers scored 12 unanswered points from the 51st-minute onwards as they won the second 40 minutes in what proved to be the ultimate game of two halves.

Despite registering three first-half tries, Bath failed to claim a valuable bonus point against a Tigers side who were in danger of being on the end of a heavy scoreline with 40 minutes played.

Instead, it was Tigers who dominated after the interval as Irish halfbacks Ian Humphreys and Frank Murphy both grabbed tries. Unfortunately for Marcelo Loffreda’s men, the first-half deficit was too much to come back from.

“In the first half, they were just too good for us,” said Tigers back row Brett Deacon.
“They had so much quick ball from the breakdown and we didn’t do enough to slow that down.

“We dug in deep and stuck to our gameplan, though. The courage from the guys in the second-half was outstanding. I’ve not seen it on video, but there were two or three forward passes that could have put us back in the game.”

Deacon, who started on Tuesday and could be involved in this Saturday’s clash with Bristol at Welford Road, knows that Tigers will need to produce three impressive performances in their remaining Premiership matches if they are to reach the knockout stages.

“They’ll be a lot of recovery going on this week. At this time in the season, you need to be fresh. It’s a case now of really digging in as a whole squad and we’ll do that. We need to win the next three games and we need to start all those matches the way we finished at Bath.”