Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Rugby Union: Flood Pays Tribute to Magical Jonny

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Rugby Union: Flood Pays Tribute to Magical Jonny

Article excerpt

Byline: By NICK PUREWAL

TOBY FLOOD reckons stealing the tries does not mean he is stealing the glory from his teammates.

The Newcastle Falcons playmaker has crossed twice in two Six Nations matches this term, grabbing the crucial score against Italy in Rome yesterday.

England raced into a 20-6 half-time lead only to be hauled back by the home side - but there was to be no Wales-esque collapse, despite Danny Cipriani's charged-down kick which led to Simon Picone's late try.

Jonny Wilkinson's chip and collect then sublime pass out of the back of the hand set up Paul Sackey for the opening score, before Jamie Noon forced a charge down to feed Wilkinson, who put Flood in on the runaround.

Wilkinson passed 1,000 points for England, silencing any lingering objections to him retaining the No 10 shirt, and Flood said no one in the England camp expected anything else.

Flood said: "It was great to get on the end of a score that owed a lot to Newcastle, because all I did was finish off the good work from Noony and Jonny.

"I'm pleased to have scored in both games but it is not important who gets the tries or the points as long as the team wins - everyone will tell you the same thing.

"Last week after defeat to Wales I could not have been less interested about my try, because it did not help the team to a win.

"We played some good stuff before the break in Rome, but really we did not keep it going so well in the second half.

"That's quite similar to the game against Wales, but we held on and that's the important thing.

"Italy are a good side and have worked hard over the last few years to become very competitive in this competition, so it's a good win to have under our belts."

Flood said he could not imagine anyone other than Wilkinson playing fly-half for England - and was glad his friend and clubmate pulled the strings once again. …

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