How do you start to review the Leicester Tigers’ performance at Saracens with a view to getting the best out of the players in the remainder of the season?
Geordan will have emphasised the value of working to a gameplan, digging in during defensive sets and making opportunities count, as displayed in the opening hour at Sarries. At the same time, he has to find a balance in addressing how one lapse around the 60-minuite mark could result in 25 unanswered points in the remaining 20.
The goal is to find a way of gaining maximum reward from the opening three-quarters while avoiding a repeat of the last.
But would you spend 75 per cent of the time on making that 75 per cent better or focus the same proportion of time on addressing the negative? That’s where Geordan and his team will have been looking for answers with just nine games remaining.
After facing up to an early onslaught against a team of Sarries’ quality, even given the bodies missing during the Six Nations, Tigers led at half-time after an opportunist try finished by Jonah Holmes and instigated by a superb run from George Worth.
They were still in front after an hour and The Tig had started to speculate on the value of not just the points, but also the boost in confidence.
Crucially, Tigers had had one major opportunity to score and had taken it. Dan Cole and Co had got some reward at scrum time, the lineout was working well and Sarries had not broken the defensive line too often. A run from Lozowksi and a bouncing ball which beat Worth but also missed the pleading hands of an attacker were probably the best they had managed up to that point.
But then, as Geordan put it, Tigers blinked.
Three late tries gave the scoreline a flattering appearance for Sarries’ first 65 minutes’ work. But the final 15 minutes kicked the Tigers where it hurts most.
As any Tiger will know from experience, that ruthlessness to close out a game even when not at your very best is a quality that comes in particularly handy in a league as tight as the Gallagher Premiership.
(If you are keeping track, the focus of exactly three-quarters of The Tig’s match review here is on the positives, which counts for something. Perhaps.)