It was, by common consent, the best Premiership final ever.
And when Glen Jackson’s fifth penalty flew between the posts after precisely 76 minutes and four seconds to give Saracens the lead for the fifth time in an absolute belter of a game it looked as though it was about to produce a brand new champion of England.
But finals rugby can be a cruel game. Toby Flood’s hanging kick at the re-start was claimed by Scott Hamilton and after he scissored with Dan Hipkiss, it was Jackson who scragged the Leicester centre around the neck before falling off the tackle.
With the referee’s arm indicating a penalty to the Tigers, Hipkiss burst out of the throng and raced over for the winning score.
“It was a high tackle, I think the guys just slacked off and he just slipped through there,” confirmed Saracens captain Ernst Joubert after the game.
“Fair play to Floody [Toby Flood],” said Tigers boss Richard Cockerill.
“We practise re-starts a lot. A lot of the time he bottles it but he kicked it in the right spot, Scotty catches it and we win the game. Fair play to the players really. They made the call under the posts.”
There was still time for Saracens to fashion one final attacking position, but Leicester second row Geoff Parling soared highest to produce a line-out steal that brought back memories of Justin Harrison’s dramatic poach for Australia in the third Test against the Lions in 2001.
Leicester’s 33-27 win gave them their third title in four years, and their ninth overall, to confirm their status as the most successful club in England.