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Goode Go

22nd February 2005 By Munster Rugby

Goode Go

Interested to read in The Sunday Times, the article on Mike Ford by Peter O Reilly, where Ford spoke of his pride at being from Lancashire and that for Brian Ashton, the former (briefly) Irish coach, being from Lancashire was more important than being English. I then remembered seeing the huge banner at Munster games that proclaimed, Irish By Birth, Munster By The Grace of God. and understood perfectly where Ashton and indeed Ford were coming from. And as the Heineken Cup quarter final edges closer and closer, that attitude I think is just as prevalent, maybe even more so in France.

Interested to read in The Sunday Times, the article on Mike Ford by Peter O Reilly, where Ford spoke of his pride at being from Lancashire and that for Brian Ashton, the former (briefly) Irish coach, being from Lancashire was more important than being English. I then remembered seeing the huge banner at Munster games that proclaimed, Irish By Birth, Munster By The Grace of God. and understood perfectly where Ashton and indeed Ford were coming from. And as the Heineken Cup quarter final edges closer and closer, that attitude I think is just as prevalent, maybe even more so in France.

With that in mind, I believe it would be very na ve to look at the performance of the French national side and think that our chances of beating Biarritz are somehow heightened.

The gap between the last round of Pool matches and the quarter finals serves only to make us forget what a formidable side Biarritz are and we should be reminded again that they beat Leicester Tigers home and away on top of putting the holders Wasps out of the competition.

And looking at the League game between Leicester and Newcastle on Saturday two thoughts struck me. The first was, what earthly chance to Newcastle Falcons have against Stade Francais in Paris in early April and secondly, I hope Andy Robinson picks Andy Goode to start against Ireland on Sunday in Lansdowne Road.

The English have always been their own best publicists. No matter in what facet of life, but in sport particularly. Their Premiership (soccer) is the best in the world, populated though its top team are by foreign coaches and players. They still (secretly) believe English cricket is the market leader and forget that their top jockeys and the horses they ride are in fact Irish. But best of all from an Irish perspective with next Sunday in mind they ve also convinced themselves that their Premiership rugby league is the bee s knees. But it ain t and that brings me back to Andrew Goode.

Seconds after the great white hope, Charlie Hodgson and his side-kick an swing-along Ollie Barkley conspired to gift France victory last weekend in Twickenham, the search began for a replacement great white hope. And the Gods produced him in Welford Road on Saturday in the considerable bulk of one Andrew Goode.

The game itself told us nothing more that we already knew Goode can kick. In fact he has a mighty thump of a ball. He kicked 13 from 13 converting the eleven tries scored and two penalties.

But there is a helluva difference playing in front of a partisan Welford Road against inept opposition and playing in the cauldron that will be Lansdowne against an Ireland side playing with, eh sorry Eddie, a Munster midset.

Gerry Burkett – Cork. Editor – Andy Robinson Obviously aggrees with you Gerry, he has named his side and Goode is on the bench.

Letters to editor@munsterrugby.ie

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