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Performance worthy of the big stage

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Whatever was said after the game, Tigers supporters will have some colourful terms to describe the team's performance and the result against Toulon on Sunday.

Gutsy, committed, determined, belligerent, composed, mature? Take your pick, but it was a cracking occasion and the match lived up to its billing.
Toulon have world-class players throughout their squad and, importantly in the terms of competition at the very top level, they have vast experience too. Ali Williams, Bryan Habana, Bakkies Botha, Carl Hayman, Martin Castrogiovanni, Chris Masoe, they have all been there, done that in any company in the world game. They have all been at the elite end of the game for a considerable length of time too, which shows their consistency as well as quality.
Tigers have Test players too, and for young men like Graham Kitchener, Jamie Gibson and Owen Williams, this was another shop-window opportunity to show their worth, and they stepped right up to the plate.
The crowd rose too, getting right behind the team in attack and defence. It seemed like 22,000 people were shoving in the scrums at times too.
Europe’s elite competition brought out the best in the home camp and now Tigers have a win against double European champions Toulon to go alongside home victories over Toulouse, Clermont and Montpellier in recent seasons.
No one is getting carried away, especially as the challenge now is to step up and try to do it all over again in the teak-tough environment of the Stade Mayol in Toulon.
But the performance on Sunday, the composure in staying in the game just when the visitors threatened to slam the door, and the rewards gained from building pressure on the opposition defence can do no harm in preparation for the return fixture and the other big games to come over the next few weeks.