Flood hails ‘incredible’ day
The fly-half’s long-range effort handed the Falcons a 25-22 Aviva Premiership victory on Saturday in front of 30,174 supporters, Flood saying after his 20-point haul: “It’s nice for me that I was able to kick the ones I did, but those chances only came around because of the diligence of guys elsewhere in the side.
“I’m not going to lie, whacking over the winning penalty towards the Gallowgate End was an incredible memory, and one I’ll always savour.
“If I’m honest, it was more post-game that I got a feel for the atmosphere, because you’re just zoned in on the game.
“I’ve been lucky enough to play at some pretty awesome venues during my career but that was a huge tick in the box, and after that final whistle the buzz was just incredible. When you watch it back you can sit and appreciate what actually happened during the match itself, and I consider myself lucky to have had that opportunity.”
Kicking all but five of his side’s points on a momentous day for the sport in the North East, Flood said: “It’s always nice to score a few points.
“We’ve been pretty free-flowing this season in terms of tries scored, so we’ve not had to lean on the penalties as much as we did today. We felt Northampton were creaking, that they were about to go, and potentially their discipline was putting them in a tough situation with conceding so many kickable penalties.
“We put a lot of effort in for our scores, we sat on them and asked them questions, and it was galling in a way that we conceded some cheap tries. We made it easy at times for them to put fives or sevens on the board, but ultimately their discipline allowed us to get into the game.”
Putting his side in prime contention for a Premiership semi-final sport and with a home quarter-final in the European Challenge Cup on Good Friday, the 60-times-capped England international said: “The view is nice from near the top, but this is where good teams have to manage the end of the year.
“The Saracens and the Leicesters of this world are used to doing it, and we aren’t, and it’s those teams who can pick up results when they’re not necessarily expected to who win the trophies come the end of the season.
“For us it’s nice that we’re here, and we’ll have a swing at it and see where we end up. If we keep winning we have a chance, and for the boys who have been here a while it’s nice because they’ve felt for a few years that this has been coming. It’s maybe the first year that people on the outside have seen it because we’ve been nicking those tight games, and we’re creeping up.
“If someone had said here’s 54 points with four games to go, we’d have said happy days.
“This is the nice part of the year when you swing round that last corner and onto the home straight, and all the effort from that first week of pre-season, through Christmas and around to Easter becomes worthwhile.
“We’re in with a shot, we have a chance of two semi-finals and the boys are just enjoying the ride. It’s our first crack at it at this end of the table, and we’re loving it. I’m feeding off the incredible enthusiasm of our young guys, with me being an old man these days, but it’s a pleasure coming in every day.”
Tickets for Good Friday’s European Challenge Cup quarter-final with Brive are available by [**clicking here**].