Adventures of Sinbad: It's not a Goode time for under-estimation
James Simpson-Daniel's weekly column: The Adventures of Sinbad.
Brought to you in association with rugby charity Wooden Spoon
ANDY Goode gets a lot of banter but he's far more dangerous than some perhaps realise.
The Worcester fly-half is not just a huge boot – he's got great variation, a good show-and-go, he can chip in behind the line and he's got a dangerous flat pass as well.
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The way Goodey is viewed perhaps sums up how people have underestimated Worcester in the past.
At times they have been pigeon-holed as a stuffy team looking to frustrate – but now they have added to their line-up and they are definitely more dangerous in attack.
Worcester are extremely well-drilled, and defensively they are excellent.
That's what you'd expect from any side coached by Phil Larder, and doing the analysis it is clear that their line-speed and spacing are both spot-on.
So if ever there was a time for our backline to step it up then this is it.
Our attack just isn't firing properly yet.
I don't want to go overboard with criticism because it's great to win, however you manage it.
But put simply our centres and back-three are not firing so far.
We haven't had that much ball, but neither have we tied everything together well enough in our first two games.
We've still scored 19 points in one game and 40 in the other, so at least we are still putting scores on the board.
We're encouraged by that – but we know we've got to step up as a backline.
We can't rely on the forwards to lead the charge all the time – they've been fantastic so far – and behind the scrum we're ready to match them.
IT'S RARE FOR ME TO FEEL OLD
I HEARD Nigel Davies dubbed me the grandfather of Gloucester’s backline…I’m quite happy with that!
If Nige is happy to joke about me in that context openly then fingers crossed I’m doing something right.
The day he starts comparing me to the youngsters and isn’t so forthcoming – that’s when I might start to worry!
We joke about the young and the old, like me and Lord Tindall at one end and Jonny May and Co at the other.
But the ‘youngsters’ really aren’t that young anymore and are certainly starting to impose themselves.
And it’s not too frequent that I feel old to be honest – maybe the morning after a match, or when I catch my hairline in the mirror!
It was only after the win at London Irish on Saturday that the enormity of the result sunk in.
We knew it was an important game, but the relief that washed over us afterwards was greater than we’d anticipated.
We’ve had a few bumps and bruises and people have been getting patched up at the start of this week – but all those knocks feel less of a problem when you’re winning.
GET READY TO GRILL ME AND TEAM MATES
MY NEW association with Wooden Spoon Gloucestershire doesn’t begin and end with this column.
I’m aiming to help the charity in a number of ways – and the first opportunity hopefully to do that will be through a Question and Answer Evening at Kingsholm.
So I’ll team up with Wooden Spoon to host a membership drive night in Kingsholm’s 1873 Suite on Tuesday, October 2.
I’ll be on hand with some of my Gloucester team-mates to answer questions on all things Cherry and White, and no doubt a few other subjects too.
Wooden Spoon raises funds to help disabled and disadvantaged children – and all money raised in Gloucestershire is invested straight into projects within the county.
Spoon recently raised £40,000 to help Cirencester’s Riding for the Disabled build a new manege, a horse riding arena, and the next project is to support Gloucester’s St James City Farm.
This Q and A event is the first in a series of planned Wooden Spoon members’ events, to add extra value to signing up to Spoon.
Membership costs £40 a year – but crucially the charity receives £100 to invest into local schemes for every person who joins up.
Doors open at 7pm on October 2 for a 7.30pm start. The night is free of charge, with entry on a first-come first-served basis.
For more information about the night or how to become a Wooden Spoon member contact Gloucestershire chairman Tim Heal on 01452 627128.
NEW TIP? SUITS ME.........
WELL the All Blacks didn’t help me out much last time around, not winning by the 26-point margin, so I’m changing sports for my tip this week.
So I’ll go for an each-way bet on Strong Suit in the 4.15pm at Doncaster on Saturday.
David Redvers is the bloodstock agent for the horse and he’s someone I know quite well as he works out of Tweenhills Farm, just past Hartpury.
He’s not given me any background info or anything, but it’s just a horse I’ve followed a little bit because of that connection.