It takes a better brain than The Tig’s to work out exactly what is happening in the Gallagher Premiership this season, but it’s fair to say we’ll all still be trying to find the answers well into the summer.
Take Round 19 for instance, a weekend where a win for Newcastle Falcons could have sent Tigers to the foot of the league and a defeat for Wasps at top-of-the-table Exeter would have pushed them into real trouble in the bottom half.
Tigers, though, won at Falcons, even if it was only resolved in the final play of the game as Geordan’s men shut out the Geordies to deny them a potential bonus-point winning score. There were considerable celebrations alongside a huge sigh of relief as Wayne Barnes blew the final whistle.
No one is saying the job is done, but that win, and the style of it in those closing stages, will have provided a timely boost to morale back at Welford Road with three more tough tests to come.
Wasps then went and won at Chiefs for the first time in their history and, rather than looking over the shoulders, they jumped up to fifth in the table. Also, instead of talking about one win in five, their tails are up and they’re suddenly back in the Champions Cup frame and just three points off the play-offs.
Elsewhere, Sale started Round 19 in fifth place, with fourth-placed Harlequins just one bonus-point win ahead. Wind the clock on 80 minutes and they’d slipped to eighth and fallen a further point in arrears. And that was despite Quins losing at home to Northampton!
Gloucester were the only one of the top four to win, but they still had to ride it out after conceding twice to West Country rivals Bath in the opening quarter.
Now there are three rounds remaining and, with 15 points to play for, it would take a brave man to try to guess what happens next.
For Tigers, what happens next is a vital home game against Bristol. Both teams have seven wins and 12 defeats on their record, though the Bears have three extra bonus points – one gained in attack and two in defence. With Falcons at home on Friday and second-from-bottom Worcester waiting until Sunday, it makes for another puzzling weekend in the most unpredictable Premiership season on record.