Flood inspires England to grab victory from jaws of defeat

EX-ALNWICK and Morpeth player Toby Flood was instrumental in England's last-gasp win that saw them reach the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup as pool winners.

Flood flung out a long pass for Chris Ashton to score a try in the dying minutes, before adding the conversion, to earn England a 16-12 victory against Scotland at Auckland's Eden Park this morning.

In a game that saw Scotland dominate the first half, going in 9-3 up at the break, the Leicester Tiger, who grew up in Morpeth, came on with about ten minutes to go after an indifferent performance from Jonny Wilkinson that saw him miss three penalties and a drop-goal.

His pass for the only try of the game and the added conversion points from out wide on the right all but end Scotland's world cup dream with Argentina needing only a losing bonus point against Georgia tomorrow.

Flood's brief appearance, coming on for an injured Mike Tindall shortly before Wilkinson himself went off, gives coach Martin Johnson a selection headache ahead of next Saturday's quarter-final against France with first-choice fly-half Wilkinson, usually so solid, looking shaky at times.

England fans will be pleased that earlier this morning France limped into the quarter-final stage losing their last group game to Tonga 19-14 in an abysmal performance.

Flood played the second-half against Romania last week in Dunedin scoring eight points with the boot in a comfortable 67-3 England win.

He also scored 11 points the previous week as England beat Georgia 41-10 in his only start of the tournament.