Moody revels in victorious send-off
May 30, 2010
Leicester's Lewis Moody shows off the Premiership silverware at Twickenham © Getty Images
Veteran flanker Lewis Moody was delighted to bring the curtain down on his Leicester career with another Premiership title and insists he has no regrets about his move to Bath.
The England captain will join Leicester's long-time rivals later this summer after the Tigers failed to find room for him under their salary cap. But the 31-year-old, who has called Welford Road home since he was a teenager, was happy to wallow in the Tigers' seventh Premiership crown and an unprecedented ninth English League title.
"It has been a huge part of my life since I was a schoolboy. My folks used to take me to Welford Road and we would be in the stands shouting 'Deano, Deano' with all the other fans," reflected Moody. "I have had a wonderful 14 years. I have loved playing with this team and I have loved being involved with this club. That will never change.
"I have no regrets. It is a professional game and we look to new challenges. After England's summer tour I can focus my attentions on something really exciting. But this was the best way to go out and in the best style."
Moody was watching from the touchline, having already been substituted to a rousing send-off, as an epic Premiership final reached its dramatic conclusion. Saracens had fought back from 23-14 down to take a one-point lead with four minutes remaining only for the Tigers to land the killer blow immediately from the kick-off.
Scott Hamilton claimed the restart and Dan Hipkiss, who had come off the bench to make his first appearance in three months, barrelled his way through the Saracens defence to score the decisive try.
"There is no secret. It is just hard work and tenacity," said Moody. "Winning becomes a habit and you crave it. In that situation defeat becomes harder and the pain is more severe so you correct it. We played some great rugby. We made it hard for ourselves at times but the true grit that has always won us games at this club shone through.
"Games like this that are tough, when both teams are playing rugby and you are exhausted, give you a real pride because you have had to earn it the hard way."
Hipkiss applied the coup de grace after an epic final in which the lead changed hands seven times. Centre Matt Smith and scrum-half Ben Youngs had scored first-half tries for Leicester and fly-half Toby Flood finished with 18 points.
"There is never time to panic. Clive Woodward always said 'no matter how long is left on the clock, there is time to win the game'. And he is right," said Moody.