There is an unwritten rule in the round ball game that a returning player will usually score against his old team. I’ve not come across a similar scenario in rugby, but nevertheless, on Sunday it was a Leicester Tigers old boy in Andy Goode who proved the real irritant to them. In the driving wind and rain it was Goode who provided the experience in conditions that seemed to suit him perfectly. He scored 17 out of Wasps’ 22 points with three penalty goals ( one from 60 metres on the angle), a conversion of the game’s only try, and two well-struck drop goals.
Leicester Tigers are the current Premiership champions, and are easily the most successful English side domestically of the past decade with three championships and appearances in six Premiership finals. Yet amazingly, they have not won at Adams Park since September 2007, when Wasps were in their pomp. Since then the home side have flirted with relegation,and even extinction, but they have always managed to get one over the men from the East Midlands.
To be fair to Leicester they were missing 18 players, either injured or on international duty, but they were off-colour here. This was Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill’s first game back in charge after his nine-game matchday ban, but even he was sanguine about the situation.”Our standards need to be better”,he said afterwards,”but in the context of our injuries you can’t be too hard on the guys.”
It can be strange watching rugby at this time of year. Whatever the injury scenario, the top clubs will be denuded of players due to the November internationals.So as a punter you can’t help but feel cheated at being deprived of watching the best players. After all, when World Cup qualifiers are being played, football’s Premiership is suspended for that weekend.So if rugby insists in carrying on,and the clubs know what will happen, how come none of them see fit to lower their admission prices as an acceptance of the lower class fare on offer?