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Flood boots the doubters

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Toby Flood showed on Sunday that he knows exactly when to stick the boot in for Leicester Tigers.

Top marks Toby, collecting 24 points in a vital European win over the Ospreys.

It wasn’t just the Ospreys who felt the force of the Floody boot, but also everyone who’s been having a pop at him and the rest of our Tigers in the opening weeks of the season.

The Tig has read comments about Tigers being a spent force, and fingers pointing at the likes of Floody.

Last season there was a focus on his kicking when Toby hit a sticky patch of form and when England preferred others in the No10 shirt.

But Sunday presented a superb response.

To take on kicks from halfway in the pressure of a must-win game against a very good side says a lot for Flood’s confidence. And it was not misplaced as he landed a kick from more than 55 metres at a crucial part of the win.

That kick can already go into the Tigers folklore, not just because of the distance but also because of the circumstances in a match against a side that had raced into an early 10-0 lead and are being talked about as one of the competition’s main contenders.

The Tig, therefore, has no problem in adding that kick to the list of favourites headed, of course, by Tim Stimpson in Paris and his late in-off against Llanelli. The list would also include a few shots from Andy Goode, who started taking on any kick outside his own 22 in his second spell at Leicester, and a few big boots from Billy Twelvetrees. But Floody’s long-ranger is right up there.

And, if the hard-to-please say it must be something to do with a Welford Road pitch which is "too short" for World Cup organisers, look again and see the kick still had legs for a few more metres.

Anyway, it’s not always the size that matters. A kick that puts your team three points ahead approaching the last 10 minutes of a monumental match is worth its weight in gold.