Kitchener, starting an Aviva Premiership Final for the first time at the end of an impressive season in Tigers colours, scored the team’s second try of the day, just five minutes after Northampton Saints had clawed their way back into the game with a score from Ben Foden.
“They came out after half-time and we knew they would be going for it,” said the 23-year-old Kitchener.
“After they scored we really needed to score next and that is just what happened. It was a great personal moment for me. I looked up and I saw a prop and just thought I’d go for it. It’s a good job I scored because I believe there was an overlap on the outside! It’s an unbelievable moment.
“Down to 14 men they battled really well but we could see the one-man advantage in the last 20 minutes, especially as it was quite a loose game. We got those tries from Niki Goneva and Manu near the end to put us away.”
Kitchener was also involved in another pivotal moment as he denied Foden a first-half score, managing to hold the full-back up as he crossed the line just long enough so his foot hit touch before the ball was grounded.
At the end of a successful day’s work, with a Premiership winner’s medal safely collected, Kitchener added: “It’s not really sunk in yet, it’s just an unbelievable buzz.
“It doesn’t get much better than 80,000 at Twickenham in a grand final.
“We’ve been working towards this all season and it’s great to have come through with the win. We’ve had two disappointments in the last couple of years so it was good to get back to winning here. We really wanted it and just to get the win is great for everyone.”