Proud Nick Isiekwe ready to savour ‘sweet’ first European win for some time to come
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
There was a trial run before the Saracens bench could finally erupt in joy as the actual final whistle ended a superb Heineken Cup final against Leinster in their favour.
The youngsters and remainder of the first-team squad were soon on the touchline too to join in the fun while on the pitch the bruised and battered Men in Black suddenly found the energy to celebrate themselves.
But as the hugs and high fives went on, one giant figure was spotted strolling around the St James' Park turf on his own, waving to supporters and sporting a smile as wide as Tyne itself.
"It's the first one," St Albans' Nick Isiekwe proudly said as he left the scene of their triumph almost two hours later, still wearing that huge grin.
"The boys have been saying all week, you don't know how many you will get in your career so it's just a great experience for me first and foremost.
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"And it's great for my family and obviously the boys. Leinster are a quality side, they are unbelievable and really put it out there, but to win after a tough game like that is sweet, very sweet."
The former Nicholas Breakspear youngster has already enjoyed much success in his relatively young career.
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The European triumph goes alongside the Premiership medal secured after victory over Exeter Chiefs last year and their have England caps and England tries for the St Albans man, who only turned 21 at the back end of last month.
But his reaction to the win in Newcastle was obvious, this one meant a lot.
"It annoyed me when we went out in the quarter-final last year and that was itching at me, it was getting at me," he admitted.
"To win anything is special in my eyes but to win it with my friends and my family around, that's what makes it special.
"It doesn't matter what cup it is but this is fantastic after the disappointment of last year."
The waves to friends, family and Saracens fans afterwards were truly heartfelt too, as were the words delivered about the fervent support
He said: "It was obvious that the Sarries fans were outnumbered by the Leinster fans but you could hear them through that and that pleases me loads.
"They were outstanding today and I can't say enough for what they have done. What they do for us is special."
He wasn't thinking about the future too much as he disappeared into the Tyneside night to "savour the moment".
The fact is there is almost guaranteed to be many more days and nights like this for him to savour.
But you were left in no doubt that it will be this one, the first European one, that will be the most treasured.