MARK Flanagan has put a nightmare 2013 behind him to enjoy his best run of form at the Saints to date.
The former Wests forward has appeared in the last three games for the club – all of them victorious – after an injury ravaged season.
“There’s a good vibe in the camp at the minute and eight from eight is a great start,” he said. “We haven’t started well over the last couple of years. We got the result we needed at the weekend but we didn’t play well and it has given us a kick up the backside.
“The last five minutes of that game – and it wasn’t clear cut to me that it was a drop goal – showed the character in the side. We threw bodies in front of it to make sure we stayed in the game. Then on our drive we had a tap on the 20, went 60 metres in four tackles and Walsh did the rest. It showed the will to win we have in the squad this year.
“The win over Leeds showed that too. It was probably the best game I have been involved in. To have those odds against us and to do such a great job was special. The younger players did great but the silverbacks like Paul Wellens rolled back the years.
“His leadership qualities cannot be ignored; he is such a great player for what he brings to this team. He is a leader and someone we look up to. His performance against Leeds typified that. It is good to have that culture at Saints and it stems from years back.
“We’re happy at the moment but we have a tough period coming up.”
Flash snapped his cruciate last season which forced him to undergo a long rehab programme – and miss most of the 2013 season.
“Last year was a nightmare for me and it was about this time when I tore the cruciate in my knee,” he continued. “I’m feeling great now and it’s good to be back out there. I had a good pre-season and I need to thank the medical team here – Joey Hayes and Nathan Mill – because they were great with me and put in a lot of hours to get me back.
“I’m pleased with my form and in the last three games I’ve played every minute and we’ve won every game! No seriously, I am happy but there is always room for improvement.
“One of the reasons we have performed well is because of the competition in the squad. We had a lot of players in pre-season training and competing for spots. People have to play well to stay in the team. I have full confidence in my ability to stay in the team but I know it isn’t going to be easy.”