So the year is winding down and we can reflect on what were the highlights of 2012? Well we won the cup against Northampton, which was a pretty good way to chalk up our 18th major honour and tie with Bath on that score. We went on a record run of bonus point wins to secure a home semi-final, which we duly won, but came up short against Quins at Twickenham where we missed Toby Flood. After the summer we came back with a bang, extending our record for regular season matches won with a bonus point by two more, but then looked poor against Saracens, Quins and Toulouse. Ten crazy minutes against the Ospreys will live long in the memory as will staring down the Haka and being the first side to defeat the Maori for 5 years.
But which matches make it on to our short list and which one will you choose to make our performance of the year?
Tigers 36 Gloucester 3, 4th March
It was pissing down with rain and the terrace was sodden. But Ben Youngs and Toby Flood shone through the rain and guided Tigers to 5 try romp. They came from Mulipola, Mafi, Ben Youngs, Smith and Alex Tuilagi. Easily the most memorable was Super Steve's effort, he claimed a lineout on the 22 turning to set it back and form a maul; but sensing no pressure on him as Gloucester flooded past he took flight and raced away to the line side stepping the despairing Matt Tindall on the line.
London Irish 32 Tigers 41, 25th March
Losing 32-31 with just 2 minutes to go the Tigers pulled it out of the fire as Toby Flood landed a penalty to gain the lead before Tom Croft steamed in from 40 yards to secure the win and with it the bonus point. Flood grabbed 26 points and one of the other highlights was watching Manu Tuilagi poleaxe Dan Bowden with a trademark tackle.
Harlequins 33 Tigers 43, 21st April
On 34 minutes Quins were leading 26-13 but Steve Mafi led the fight back with a cheeky try after reaching back into the ruck to pick up the ball then waltzing in for the score. Alesana Tuilagi scored a cracking try after a Anthony Allen break and the bonus point, the come back and the win was sealed with a Waldrom try in the final ten minutes.
Tigers 39 Ospreys 22, 21st October
3 tries in the final ten minutes secured the 4 try bonus point but more than that reignited our hopes of winning the pool after a disastrous game in Toulouse the week before. Manu Tuilagi scored the 4th try after his off load had set up the previous ruck, earlier Steve Mafi had put Ben Youngs away down the left touchline and Toby Flood had sparked the rampage with an interception try.
Tigers 32 Maori 24, 13th November
One of those magical Welford Road nights under the lights. The Maori came to play but didn't count on the spirit of the Tigers. First half tries from Morris and Adam Thompstone gave Tigers a 26-7 lead which they defended stoutly to be the first team to topple the Maori since 2007.