New year, new fortunes perhaps? We can only hope that, alongside the development of Geordan Murphy’s methods and improved team performances, there is a little slice of luck somewhere along the way too. Even the best teams need to feel fortune smiling on them too.
Napoleon and Eisenhower famously remarked that they would rather have a lucky general than a good one, while every great golfer of the 20th Century has had the comment that ‘the harder you practice you luckier you get’ attributed to them at one time.
The Tig was thinking along similar lines when Bath back-rower Francois Louw had a ‘try’ disallowed against Tigers last weekend.
The decision was understandably unpopular with the home crowd, but we were thinking at the time that this could be the turning point we’ve been looking for as the whistle blew.
It didn’t last for long, however, as Bath were then credited with two scores despite calls for a potential double movement and a pretty clear knock-on during the remainder of an opening half played almost entirely in the Leicester portion of the field.
It was tough on a determined defensive display from the Tigers, but perhaps inevitable given how long the home team had spent with ball in hand in our territory.
When things don’t go in your favour, you look for anything to try to turn the tide and The Tig started thinking back to any examples of good fortune this season. And stopped at the favourable bounce of the ball for Matt Smith to score a very nice try in the corner against Saracens.
Smithy read the play well, had the pace to get there and then changed gears to run in for a try which was very warmly received by the Welford Road faithful.
But, before we run away with it, remember that the result that afternoon was not in Tigers’ favour.
Struggling for another example of someone smiling on us, perhaps there was a small slice of good fortune at The Rec as Bath took ‘only’ four points and Tigers at least got something out of the trip.
After fighting to stay in the game, Tigers repelled that last chance from a Bath penalty with the home side looking to set up a lineout drive for a fourth try which would have been worth an extra point and also denied their old rivals any reward at all. Preserving a consolation from seven-point defeat was something at least to hold on to.
‘Win at home and draw away’ was the traditional football mantra for success, and the rugby equivalent would be something close to the Tigers’ five-pointer over Quins followed by a point on the road at Bath. In a league table as tight as this year, it’s not a bad approach, provided of course you can satisfy both demands.