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Better late than never

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Christmas celebrations started a little later than normal in The Tig household this year, about two days and 78 minutes later to be precise.Up to that point in the match at Sale, The Tig was feeling decidedly un-festive.   Tigers had scored some decent tries at the AJ Bell Stadium and there were definite flashes of inspirational play in the backline too. But 15 points down in the second half and The Tig was feeling less than charitable at this caring, sharing time of the year.   Getting back to 30-22 was a huge step in the recovery, but it still left a bit to do to gain even a point, and a lot to do to take anything more than that.   But an Owen Williams penalty later and it was all to play for. A losing bonus point at that stage would have been clutching at consolation straws. But a few minutes later and Tigers had turned the tables completely with a very composed score from an attacking lineout and a Williams conversion to take the lead with about 100 seconds of the game remaining.   If one mark of a good side is being the ability to grind out results when not playing well – or so the cliché says – then another is the ability to keep going when it would be easier to just pack it in. Think Williams kicking for a share against Saracens, or Williams kicking a last-gasp winner against Wasps after the team had established a level of pressure and found those opportunities. Think Jamie Gibson's last-minute leveller against Bath last season.   After losing in the 78th minute at Saints before Christmas, the late win at Sale was most welcome. To head home with four tries and a bonus-point win even more so.   The boys did make us sweat for it though, especially after catching the restart and then somehow losing possession. The defence, the composure and the sheer guts, though, saw Tigers through in the end. Another reminder that you can’t keep a good man/team down.   If we had to win in the 78th minute from now until the end of the season, it wouldn’t be good for anyone’s blood pressure, but we’d take it. Every time.