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This would be one of our best

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Richard Cockerill has seen enough big days in his 20-plus years at Leicester Tigers to know notable results when he sees them.

He has already said that a win in Clermont in this weekend’s European quarter-final would be right up there among the club’s greatest results in the professional era, such is the quality of the opposition and the record they possess on home ground.

The Tig, like most supporters, instantly recalls the historic win at Thomond Park against Munster in 2007 as the type of game sitting right at the top of that list of big results.

The impressive quarter-final win over Leinster at Lansdowne Road a couple of years earlier is another.

The early years of the Heineken Cup also included wins in Pau, Toulouse and Perpignan, territory the home clubs do not give up easily, and Tigers did win at Clermont and at Ospreys in the same pool during one season.

Each of those games had its defining moments and many of them also helped to define as a team the men in Tigers colours who took on the challenge and overcame it.

Pau and Perpignan were as intimidating as anywhere on the circuit, but a hard-nosed team went there to do a job and did it, while the Thomond Park game is a rich source of pride for everyone with red, white and green allifilations.

The Tig also still takes pleasure in equal measure from the display in Dublin for the quarter-final in 2005.

That Leinster team was a tough nut to crack, especially on their own patch, but every single Tiger stood up to be counted – including the support – and certainly stuck to the task. The tries got Tigers’ spirits flowing and sapped the energy out of the home side. Johnson, Kay, Murphy, Gibson, Healey and the rest did a great job on the hosts and a huge travelling army of supporters enjoyed every moment of the afternoon as well as whichever parts of the evening they could remember.

The Stade Marcel Michelin is an intimidating arena, with the crowd almost within touching distance of the white lines; the noise is immense, the support superb; they are used to celebrating there. As Cockers says, many very good teams have tried and failed to take their home record.

One thing those fixtures in Pau, Perpignan, Limerick, Dublin and the rest had in common was that every man did his duty to the fullest degree for the team. It’s just what we’ll need to see again on Saturday. Allez les Tigres.