Martin Crowson's five things: Leicester Tigers will get best out of Ryan Lamb
Martin Crowson looks back at five key issues from the weekend's rugby action.
1 Leicester Tigers' decision to bring Ryan Lamb to Welford Road next season was greeted with a mixed reaction from fans on social networking sites. The 26-year-old may have been inconsistent at Franklin's Gardens, but I would argue that Saints' 'crash it up' style of attack did little to suit his game. Leicester's track record of getting the very best out of players is astonishing – look at the likes of Steve Mafi, Ed Slater, Ant Allen, Adam Thompstone, Mat Tait and Niall Morris. Tigers will be hoping they can add Lamb to that list.
2 Hats off to Dai Young and his Wasps. Their superb win over Gloucester on Sunday was further proof that they are genuine contenders for a top-four spot this season. To be in that position after avoiding relegation by the scruff of their necks in 2011-12 is a tremendous achievement. At the very least, I would be amazed if they did not earn a Heineken Cup spot this season.
3 If there is a team coming into form in the Aviva Premiership, Tigers have got to play them before the end of the season. After this Saturday's huge game against Saracens, Tigers host recovering Sale before away trips to Exeter and Northampton. They then host vastly-improved Wasps, travel to a Bath side that have won six on the bounce, and finish the season hosting a London Irish who have turned things around dramatically in the last six weeks. If Tigers are going to do it, they are going to have to do it the hard way.
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4 It was great to see flanker Wessel Jooste warming up with his Tigers team-mates at the Stoop on Saturday. The South African travelled with the team and was fit to play if anyone had dropped out with injury or illness. Jooste signed from Bourgoin in September, but he injured nerves in his neck on his debut against Gloucester in the A League and has not played since. He is a huge man and will add an extra dimension to Leicester's back division in the coming months.
5 Some great stats posted by @AKA_AlexBarston on Twitter revealed that, with Wayne Barnes refereeing, Tigers have won 25 per cent of the finals they have been involved in. With other referees in charge, they have won 80 per cent of their finals, dating back to the EDF Anglo-Welsh Cup in 2007. As they say on Twitter . . . #justsaying