ANDY Goode has admitted he would have taken himself off long before he went from Wasps zero to hero with a last-moment drop goal to beat Exeter.
A kicker’s life if always one of extremes, but Goode took it the nth degree on Sunday after a first half display that he admits was woeful.
Apart from missing a penalty off the tee, he’d also missed touch with a handful of penalties kicked out of hand – costing his team upwards of 50m – and long before the interval he’d become the subject of catcalls from the Wasps faithful.
Goode said: ““I’ve played the game long enough to know that you get clapped and you get booed at most stadiums, me more than most.
“Fans pay their money and can air their views, but I don’t need to listen to the crowd to know how badly I was playing.”
Redemption started after 45 minutes, when his forwards turned their own fortunes around to win a scrum penalty and Goode didn’t let them down off the tee.
Two more successful kicks followed, but Goode was still heading for a match of mixed reviews until he dropped into the hole in the final play of the game.
Joe Simpson spotted him but, from 45m, there was still an awful lot of work to do.
Goode said: “I took my time over it. Sometimes you rush those if you know people are charging, but I knew it was the last kick of the game and took my time.
“I couldn’t have hit it any better to be honest and luckily enough it went over because I was pretty terrible for the rest of the game – hopefully people just remember the drop goal.”
That kick took Goode to 1,947 points in the Premiership, second in the all-time list, and without that weight of history behind him he might not have even been on the pitch at the end.
He said: “I got a bollicking from Dai at half time, and justly so, but you dust yourself off and luckily I had a shot to win it.
“I changed my boots at half time which psychologically probably helped, but I was still surprised he kept me on.
“He gives players a lot of confidence though. He backs them and he gave me an opportunity to turn it around.
“Luckily he’s got faith in me because I’d have taken myself off.”
Goode isn’t conned by his late heroics though. He says he’ll remember the previous 79 minutes for a lot longer and is determined to be better against Bayonne tomorrow evening.
He said: “I’m honest enough with myself to know that wasn’t good enough. I’ll go away and do a fair bit of work on my kicking and hopefully improve for the pool decider in the Amlin.”
Wasps go to Bayonne on Saturday in a straight shoot-out for a place in the last eight.