Aviva Premiership: Andy Goode admits he was fortunate not to be substituted during Wasps' victory over Exeter
Wasps match-winner Andy Goode admitted he had a "stinker" for all but the final act of his side's 19-16 win over Exeter.
Last Updated: 05/01/14 9:19pm
Goode dropped the winning goal with the last play of Wasps' Aviva Premiership clash at Adams Park, but the veteran fly-half conceded he would not have blamed rugby director Dai Young for substituting him at half-time after a poor first-half display which contributed to the hosts trailing 13-3 at the interval.
However, he went on to repay Young's decision to stick with him and was quick to praise his boss afterwards, stating: "Dai gives players a lot of confidence, he backs them, he's as honest as the day is long.
"I was surprised as well (to stay on). 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!"
A relieved Goode took his drop-goal opportunity with aplomb when it came, adding: "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."
A delighted Young said of his decision to keep faith with Goode: "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."
Baxter not bitter
Exeter looked to have grounds to feel particularly aggrieved after a late Henry Slade try was chalked off by the TMO, a decision that later replays appeared to show was incorrect.
The England Under-20s graduate slid home late on, but Wasps scrum-half and try-scorer Joe Simpson was adjudged to have stopped Slade from grounding the ball.
Chiefs supremo Rob Baxter refused to criticise the officials and instead chose to praise Slade for a very promising full debut.
"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 Hoani Tui's neck problem adding to Brett Sturgess' season-ending knee injury.
"He complained of neck pain, soreness and swelling around that area," added 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."