Praise for kicking king and young star

Richard Hill hailed his vastly experienced kicking king Andy Goode and new emerging centre star Andy Short after they both impressed in the 28-18 victory over Bedford Blues at Goldington Road.

Fly half ace Goode grabbed 23 points in the clash with a perfect kicking show – that included three ice cool drop goals in a match to set a new Worcester league record and tie the Championship record books.

Academy product Short made his full league debut for Warriors and produced a rock solid show alongside midfield general Dale Rasmussen.

And after the game the Sixways boss will full of admiration for the way both performed in a top of the table clash.

He said: “When you have got a goal kicker like Andy Goode it always helps. When we come to the play offs we will need to play for territory and big long kicks, kicking goals and the odd drop goal will make a huge difference. He kept the scoreboard ticking for us which was important.

“I was pleased with Andy Short. It was a big defensive test for him – it was more like cup rugby because we didn’t put them away like we should have done early on.

“It became a real fight and we wanted to win it. We could have tried to play fancy rugby and made mistakes. But we looked to close the game out.

“There wasn’t too much flash play required in the centres, it was about looking after it carefully – which Andy did – and in defence making sure we came up quickly and made our tackles.

“Our press defence in the three quarter line was one of the best it has been this season, I thought Dale Rasmussen and Short pushed up hard, hit them behind the game line and on the one occasion when we did that defence Marcel Garvey got the reward with the interception and 50 metre run in to score.

Warriors now face back to back Friday night home games with Cornish Pirates and Nottingham Rugby and Hill is convinced his squad can regroup after two punishing recent games and produce another show back at Sixways.

“We have a few big games coming up and there will be some tired bodies,” said Hill. “We kept Tevita Taumoepeau on for a full 80 minutes and he hasn’t done that for a while. He will be stiff and not doing too much gardening on Sunday, but I’m pleased he lasted the full 80 minutes.

“These lads have had two hard physical games now, they come thick and fast and we have another against Cornish Pirates and then Nottingham and London Welsh away.

“The tired bodies will feel better after a win, the morale is high but now we look to get our heads on to face the Pirates.”

Hill also had encouraging words over the fitness of England Saxons lock Graham Kitchener who was forced off after half an hour at Bedford.

“Graham got a bang to the hip which made it hard to run. He said he couldn’t carry on but I think he will be ok for next week,” he said.