Gloucester Rugby: Silencing the laughter gives Rob Cook his kicks
COLLECTIVE incredulity has never been so clear so quickly.
The guffaws rang around Franklin's Gardens as Rob Cook lined up his first shot at goal in Gloucester's Premiership clash on Saturday.
Undeterred by the cat calls and wolf whistles, Cook persevered with his famous goal-kicking tick.
But just as his pre-strike crouch paid consistent dividend with the Cornish Pirates, so the unorthodox method bore fruit against Northampton Saints on Saturday.
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Gloucester's regimented grit cemented their impressive 27-11 Premiership victory over Jim Mallinder's Saints.
But Cook's 17-point haul in landing six from seven shots at goal underpinned that resolve – in spite of the light-hearted mockery from the home crowd.
Unruffled by the boo boys, Cook said: "It makes it a little sweeter when the ball goes through the posts.
"But I've had that kind of reaction ever since the stance started getting worse.
"It doesn't really bother me that much and it certainly doesn't put me off."
Cook is well aware his goal-kicking routine must be seen to be believed.
But as long as he keeps converting the chances, the 28-year-old from Lincoln will continue with his odd stance – bent-knee, high-backside glory and all.
He said: "The fans love to have their banter, and fair enough.
"If you'd watched me in the warm-up I couldn't hit water if I fell off a boat.
"But I'm not too worried about all of that, I just want to get out there and kick, and if the first couple go all right then I'm usually okay.
"So as I've said before, if I keep kicking well, I'll keep on with the stance."
Former Nuneaton and Worcester University full-back Cook said Gloucester must now capitalise on Saturday's crucial victory.
The Cherry and Whites take on Wasps at Adams Park on Sunday (kick-off 1pm), in another clash where the winners can gain pivotal Premiership ground.
Nigel Davies' side leapfrogged Northampton on Saturday – and can do likewise to Wasps this weekend.
Cook said top-four play-off potential is all very well, but it is time Gloucester delivered on that ambition.
He continued: "We've got Wasps this week and it's just as big a game as the Saints one.
"It's been fifth versus sixth last week, and fourth versus fifth this time.
"So if we can go and do it again and overtake Wasps, we would be in a fantastic situation.
"The Saints result was a great win in isolation.
"But it probably determines a great deal about how successful our season can be.
"We really want to go for that top-four place, so it was very satisfying to win at Northampton.
"But we know that we're going to have to get another result at Wasps to keep those ambitions going."