Goode start for Alex in 6 Nations
PUBLISHED: 13:51 06 February 2008 | UPDATED: 21:04 26 October 2009
MEMBERS of one famous sporting Times Territory family were able to celebrate England beating Wales at rugby over the weekend. Alex Goode, the nephew of Olympic badminton ace Andy Goode, starred for England s Under-20 team in their Six Nations game against
MEMBERS of one famous sporting Times Territory family were able to celebrate England beating Wales at rugby over the weekend.
Alex Goode, the nephew of Olympic badminton ace Andy Goode, starred for England's Under-20 team in their Six Nations game against the Welsh.
The 19-year-old fly-half kicked 13 points as England won their opening game of the U20 competition in Gloucester.
Alex landed three penalties and two conversions at Kingsholm as Nigel Redman's squad achieved what their senior England counterparts failed to do the following day at Twickenham - beat Wales 28-15 in their Six Nations opener.
The Saracens player is from the long-running Goode family dynasty. Grandfather Bill, dad Tim and uncles Nick and Andy all won badminton titles in their day.
Andy's wife Joanne also claimed an Olympic mixed doubles badminton bronze in Sydney in 2000 and even their oldest son, Jack, has already won a county title at the racket sport.
However, Alex is making a name for himself with the oval ball and not hitting a shuttlecock.
Born in Cambridge, where his rugby talent was first spotted, he has been a member of the Saracens professional academy based at the University of Hertfordshire for the past 18 months.
Alex is now in the second year of a marketing degree at the Hatfield-based university and plays regularly for Sarries' second team, whose home fixtures are on Monday evenings in St Albans.
He has steadily worked his way through the England rugby ranks, having represented England at U16, U18 and last year in the World Under-19 Championship.
Friday was his first start for the U20 team and he had a fine kicking game against the Welsh at Gloucester's home ground in front of more than 4,500 spectators.
Teenage wings Noah Cato and Miles Benjamin got England's campaign off to a flying start with superb scores against Wales in the first half at Kingsholm.
Bristol centre Luke Eves added a third try early in the second half and Saracens No 10 Goode added two conversions and three penalties to complete a convincing win.
England were bright in the opening few minutes - Benjamin, Cato and Eves all threatening in broken play - before Wales put together a coherent spell with Jimmy Norris going close on the left and Daniel Evans missing with a drop-goal.
The hosts then gained the ascendancy with a series of close-range drives for the line and just when Wales thought they had weathered the storm, they were floored by Cato's superb surge 24 minutes in.
A lineout 40 metres out gave fly- half Goode the chance to pick out the Saracens wing, who burst through a midfield hole and then changed the angle of his run to outstrip the cover and score.
Goode converted and 10 minutes later added the extra points from the touchline to a scintillating second try from Worcester's Benjamin.
Leigh Halfpenny replied immediately with a penalty for Wales but England continued to look dangerous before the break to set up the position for Goode to add another three points with his trusty boot.
Although Wales briefly regrouped, they were in real trouble when Eves added a third try in the 50th minute.
Benjamin nearly got on the scoresheet again when he just failed to gather Goode's cross-kick and Cato was called back for a forward pass in the build-up when Greig Tonks put him in the clear.
Goode kept the scoreboard ticking over for England with a second penalty after 56 minutes to send his side 22 points clear, but they weren't home yet as Wales staged a revival - just like their senior colleagues did at Twickenham.
Scarlets lock Josh Turnball spun off the side of a ruck in the corner to throw his side a lifeline with 20 minutes remaining and they continued to make life uncomfortable for the hosts at the breakdown.
Halfpenny then struck from long range and converted his own try after blazing through a midfield gap to put England under pressure for the last five minutes.
They regained control, though, and Goode's third penalty put them in the clear once more to complete a memorable victory.
England's next fixture is against Italy in Genoa on Saturday.