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Goode pleased to reward Young faith

Match-winner Andy Goode paid tribute to Wasps boss Dai Young, admitting he had a "stinker" for all but the final act of his side's 19-16 victory over Exeter Chiefs.

Fly-half Goode dropped the winning goal with the last play of Wasps' Aviva Premiership win at Adams Park.

However, the former Leicester and England stand-off conceded he would have substituted himself at half-time for his dismal display, when Wasps trailed 13-3, and hailed rugby director Young's trust to keep him on the field.

"I was surprised as well," admitted Goode at Young's decision not to replace him despite a string of tactical kicking errors.

"Dai gives players a lot of confidence, he backs them, he's as honest as the day is long.

"If he tells you you're having a stinker you're having a stinker, but he gave me the opportunity to turn it around.

"Luckily he's got faith in me, I would have taken myself off at half-time but there we go!"

Exeter will be furious television match official Graham Hughes chalked off a score for fly-half Henry Slade on his full debut.

The England Under-20s graduate slid home late on, and Exeter would have closed out victory had the try been awarded.

Wasps scrum-half Joe Simpson was judged to have stopped Slade from grounding the ball, though later footage suggested the Chiefs player had indeed completed the score.

Exeter had raced into 13-3 half-time control thanks to half-back Dave Lewis' try and Slade's goal-kicking.

But once Wasps had the wind, and a ticking-off from Young, they muscled back into the match, with Simpson crossing for a score of his own before denying Slade.

Admitting he was fortunate to stay the contest's course, Goode said: "I took my time over that drop-goal, I couldn't have hit it any better to be honest.

"You know when you hit them if it holds the line it's going over, and lucky enough it did because I was pretty terrible for the rest of the game.

"Hopefully people just remember the drop-goal.

"I didn't need to listen to the crowd to know how badly I was playing in that first half, actually for 79 minutes.

"I changed my boots at half-time, which probably helped psychologically.

"I'll go to bed tonight remembering how badly I played, and that I was lucky to get away with it at the end there."

Relieved he kept faith with Goode after toying with hauling him off at the interval, Young said: "It was probably the right decision in the end wasn't it.

"It was certainly something we thought about, by his own admission he's had a lot better games.

"It was a measure of the guy, it wasn't an easy drop-goal, to nail that and the penalties in the second half, those were probably his saving grace and what kept him on the field.

"He's got excellent strength of character.

"I expected a response second half, so to win that 16-3 was a big turnaround because in the first half we were extremely poor.

"It was good stuff by Joe (Simpson) to get back and save that try, and we all know how sharp he is off the base of the scrum for the one he scored too."

Exeter boss Rob Baxter refused to criticise the decision to rule out Slade's potential try.

Hailing Slade's full Premiership debut, Baxter also said tighthead prop Hoani Tui will have scans on his neck after being carried off by stretcher in the first half.

"I'm going to need to see what was reviewed again," said Baxter.

"The quality of what's shown on the big screen is not the same as what the TMO sees.

"I think it was important Sladey got the full 80 minutes on his full debut.

"In hindsight we'll look back on a missed opportunity.

"But it was always going to be a game full of momentum shifts, and those are the games it's important for him to experience.

"So that's why we left him out there, and I think he came through it really well."

Baxter ruled out any injury replacement signings in the front-row, despite Tui's neck problem adding to Brett Sturgess' season-ending knee injury.

"He complained of neck pain, soreness and swelling around that area," said Baxter. "And after a series of scrums you've got to take every precaution.

"Until we've had some good scans on him it's a little early to tell.

"We've got options, so my inclination at this moment is we'll use everyone we've got, and I haven't got a problem with that.

"I'm certainly not going to be in the market tomorrow for an international tighthead."


From Belfast Telegraph