Tigers came through the Six Nations period with four wins out of four games, with Manu Tuilagi back in the fold, and with a gathering impetus. No doubt too, that other clubs in the upper reaches of the table have started to look at the defending champions.
Performances may not have been everything that the fans and the players, let alone the coaches, wanted to see, especially in hanging on at Worcester or coming back at the death to beat Gloucester at home, but there is no getting away from the value of the 17 points earned in those four games.
After seeing Manu back in the shirt at Newcastle, where Pablo Matera’s try secured a bonus point in the last minutes of the game, all we wanted to see was another opportunity in the immediate future.
Instead, after missing out on the knockout rounds of the LV= Cup, Tigers have had to kick back and wait.
Perhaps the flipside of the coin is just as important as building momentum, in that players who have been at the coalface since September (the ones who have stayed fit anyway) could do with a chance to recharge their batteries. For the likes of Ayerza, Slater, Deacon, Crane and Salvi, to name just a few, it’s a chance to come back refreshed for the run-in after a short break.
For Manu, the England call-up is probably best too, providing he comes back unscathed next week. After five months training without contact, he returned at Newcastle and then spent two weeks with England when he would have otherwise had at least a week without that kind of intensity at Tigers.
The hope is that this spell allows everyone to recharge and refresh with six huge games in the league coming up, with a Heineken Cup quarter-final squeezed in too for good measure.
For the supporters, it’s a break we would have preferred to be without, but we’ll also be chomping at the bit when action resumes against Exeter a week on Sunday.