Goode: ‘My whirlwind experience’

Written by Wesley Weber (wpw)

Posted in :In the news, Sharks, Super 14 on 14 Apr 2010 at 07:51
Tagged with : ,

In his first column since joining the Sharks – on loan from French club, Brive – rugby365.com columnist Andy Goode reflects on a whirlwind few weeks that have taken him from London to Brive, to Singapore to Christchurch and, eventually, to Durban.

Phew, so where do I begin?

In my last column, just before Christmas, I had just gone under the knife for a second time this season (to have my appendix out!); and had yet to play my final match for Brive, before being loaned out to the Sharks – where I currently find myself.

It’s been one helluva journey for me… a whirlwind experience actually and I will try and take you through a few highlights.

Actually, it all happened pretty quickly.

I made my return for Brive against the Scarlets in our final Heineken Cup pool match and then I was not allowed to play in a Top 14 match that Wednesday afterwards (against Montauban), having just had the operation, so I went to America with my family on a short holiday.

The best five weeks of my life

When I got back, the Sharks phoned me and two days later I was on a plane heading to Christchurch – via Singapore. Yes, that’s how quickly it happened.

I won’t lie… I was a bit nervous sitting on the aeroplane heading out to meet my new teammates – a new team environment is always daunting, but it took me all of two days to fit right into this Sharks side; all the guys went out of their way to make me feel welcome! (I still get a few ‘Pom’ comments thrown my way in the changeroom – but I wouldn’t want it any other way!)

There had been talk of a divided squad – with rumours of in-fighting – and I was asked this many times, but I can honestly say that I have never been part of a happier squad; both on and off the field.

This Sharks squad is a very close-knit group, they’re like one happy family (and are also very family-orientated), and the tour was probably the best five weeks of my life – aside, of course, from missing my family.

Our first game was against the Crusaders, probably not my best start considering that I was yellow-carded soon after coming on, but I was quite shell-shocked afterwards… considering that just a few days earlier I was freezing in Brive… and here I was, sitting in Christchurch and having a few beers after the game with my old Leicester Tigers teammates, Jamie Hamilton and Daryl Gibson. (Both are now part of the Crusaders coaching staff – it was great seeing them, especially Gibbo’s new ‘straight’ nose!)

From there it was off to Sydney, and we had 12 days on the beach in Manly, before we hit Canberra, Queenstown (for bungee-jumping!) and, finally, Wellington. All the stops were memorable – for their own reasons – and the opportunity was made even better by my new teammates… and the rugby!

The rugby, of course, was tough, but with a bit of luck we could have come back with four wins from five starts; I thought we very unlucky against the Waratahs and the Brumbies. Those last two games, in Dunedin and Wellington, showed our character, however, and it has kept those faint semifinal hopes of ours alive – something that not many people would have believed possible after our poor start.

Pinch me, am I dreaming?

However, as amazing as the tour was, I was absolutely blown away by my return to Durban and my first match at the Absa Stadium.

Winning Heineken Cups and Premiership titles with Leicester Tigers, and playing for England, are obviously major highlights in my rugby career thus far, but that atmosphere and support at the Shark Tank against the Reds was absolutely incredible.

The whole build-up to the kick-off was very special and I am literally pinching myself every day at the moment – the stadium, the support, my new teammates, the lifestyle (I’m living next to the beach!); I’m a very lucky guy and this experience has had me feeling like a kid again… despite having turned 30 on the day that we beat the Reds…

I was lucky enough to take a little break last week, and I took the family into the bush, which was also quite simply amazing. But, as relaxing as that was, we’ve been hard at work since Monday ahead of this coming weekend’s trip to Johannesburg.

Having played against overseas teams only, up till now, I am looking forward to my first taste of ‘proper’ South African rugby – a derby match, which means all past and present form will count for nothing come Saturday evening.

One game at a time…

The Lions have not had the greatest of seasons… but all will be forgotten should they up their game and beat us.

For us, it’s important that we concentrate on our own game(s) and play to our potential – if we do that, there is no reason why we cannot win and that would then keep us in contention for a semifinal place.

It might sound clichéd, but we are just taking things one step at a time – game-by-game – right now. There is small chance of us still making the semifinals. Sure, it could depend on other results going our way, too, but – for now – all we can do is win our remaining games and hope that everything else takes care of itself.

Before I sign off this week, I must apologise profusely for having gone ‘walkabout’ over the past few months.

It’s great to be able to be in touch again, and – on that note – I have to make a mention of my old Brive teammate Lachie McKay who has been looking after our beloved dog in our absence.

Lachie, thanks a million pal… I hope you enjoy your break this week.

Until next time,

This article is courtesy of rugby365.com


  • Well Goode does seem to be loving his new environment and seems happy to be at the Sharks.

    I hope he comes good and contributes to a few victories (except against us of course) as he seems like a good bloke!!

  • Comment 1, posted at 14.04.10 08:02:57 by wpw Reply
    wpwAssistant coach
  • Goode to see Goode having a Goode time…now let’s hope he’ll have a Goode time on the field as well.

  • Comment 2, posted at 14.04.10 08:09:59 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
    Assistant coach
  • I like this article, its to bad Goode had to come into the team like he did…Steve Meyer made everything weird for the Sharks this season.

  • Comment 3, posted at 14.04.10 08:29:39 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
    LetgoAssistant coach
  • @Letgo (Comment 3) :

    I enjoyed reading it too.

  • Comment 4, posted at 14.04.10 08:41:29 by wpw Reply
    wpwAssistant coach
  • My two cents:

    As far as overseas reinforcements go I`m not impressed with Goode.
    Sure he kicked us out of trouble in the past but if you compare him to the brilliant flyhalves we`ve had in the past, who almost singlehandedly won us cups he just doesn`t make the grade.

    Lacroix, Knox, Brown, Hernandez all those guys were better than him.

    But yeah, we dug ourselves into a hole when we allowed Steyn to go and now we must make do with what we have.

    Oh well, back to work for me.

    Side note : you can pick up the Lions at 3,3 odds for this weekend. If you through them in a multiple with some bankers I see huge odds. Okay Okay I know it`s a long shot but it`s an away game for the Sharks, it`s a derby match and I don`t think Lions are that much worse than FS. We all know how that turned out.

    Just a thought . .. use it . . . don`t use it :idea:

  • Comment 5, posted at 14.04.10 09:54:46 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original PierreSuper Rugby player
  • I read a few of his previous columns and quite enjoyed them, I think there is a career in journalism for him when he retires

  • Comment 6, posted at 14.04.10 09:59:53 by war1 Reply
    war1Super Rugby player
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 5) : i dont know, the circumstances are different. the sharks were complacent for that FS game last year and our gameplan was found out. that being said, the lions will be desperate

  • Comment 7, posted at 14.04.10 10:02:18 by war1 Reply
    war1Super Rugby player
  • Great article! It’s difficult for us to imagine the players having lives outside of rugby

  • Comment 8, posted at 14.04.10 10:04:12 by Gazman Reply

    GazmanUnder 21 player
  • Seems like a great guy. Nice to have someone so positive in the team and willing to give it a go. Hopefully he leaves us a legend and we are so thankful that he beat the Bulls in the last second of the final with a monster drop goal from the touchline. Go Goodie!!!!

  • Comment 9, posted at 14.04.10 12:18:05 by billy Reply

    billyVodacom Cup player
  • @wpw (Comment 1) : true and we didn’t want him to begin with but he seems a very nice person :oops:

  • Comment 10, posted at 14.04.10 18:23:00 by Chaz Reply

    ChazTeam captain
  • @Pokkel (Comment 2) : o yes he better and the points must start to roll in :lol: ;-)

  • Comment 11, posted at 14.04.10 18:24:57 by Chaz Reply

    ChazTeam captain
  • Well i must say very good post my friend and well to start off with :mrgreen: ;-)
    Here we are all family on SH and in the S team that is what make us unique :mrgreen:

    And with the Lions story sorry to say lions arn’t goin to win never :oops: ;-)

  • Comment 12, posted at 14.04.10 18:30:06 by Chaz Reply

    ChazTeam captain
  • till later :sad: ;-)

  • Comment 13, posted at 14.04.10 18:32:20 by Chaz Reply

    ChazTeam captain
  • @Gazman (Comment 8) : What!?….lives outside rugby?!….never!
    :mrgreen: :lol: :mrgreen: :lol: :mrgreen: :lol:

  • Comment 14, posted at 14.04.10 20:49:15 by FireTheLooser Reply

    FireTheLooserAssistant coach
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 14) : eeehhh
    you always seem to come up with something the players have lives after rugby but us those last couple of months after the years season are finished is hell on earth nothing to do on a friday and saturday :oops: ;-)

  • Comment 15, posted at 14.04.10 20:53:30 by Chaz Reply

    ChazTeam captain
  • @Letgo (Comment 3) : Steve Meyer…..now there’s a name I’d like to see connected to a headline reading: ‘the reason why’…..’my girlfriend the abuser’….’my daddy the hero’ :mrgreen:

  • Comment 16, posted at 14.04.10 20:55:21 by FireTheLooser Reply

    FireTheLooserAssistant coach
  • @Chaz (Comment 15) : Don’t remind me, I’m still working through it with my psychologist. :lol:

  • Comment 17, posted at 14.04.10 20:57:30 by FireTheLooser Reply

    FireTheLooserAssistant coach
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 17) : eeehh me might have to also otherwise me won’t make it just hope Rob etc has something for us to comment to :lol: a couple of months without me friends :sad: no way me going to get grey hair and a lot a hanging skin with all the lonelyness :oops: :sad: :smile: ;-)

  • Comment 18, posted at 14.04.10 21:01:46 by Chaz Reply

    ChazTeam captain
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 16) : well do a post me friend :lol: :roll: ;-)

  • Comment 19, posted at 14.04.10 21:02:32 by Chaz Reply

    ChazTeam captain

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