The Andy Goode factor has helped revitalise Newcastle Falcons’ season but Worcester Warriors scrum-half Luke Baldwin says it would be foolish to just concentrate on one man ahead of Friday night’s crunch clash.
It’s a battle between tenth-place Falcons and 11th-place Worcester under the Friday night lights at Kingston Park, and both teams were brought back down to earth in Round 13 after encouraging results the week before.
But looking at the form books it is very much advantage Newcastle as Worcester have failed to win in any of the ten games they have played on the road this season.
Added to that, Falcons’ last eight home fixtures in Aviva Premiership Rugby have all been won by the home side on the day.
That home form has coincided with the signing of Goode – who missed the loss against Gloucester last week – but Baldwin says they can ill-afford to worry about just one player with the stakes so high.
“We know what Andy Goode offers on the ball, he may not be the best in shape but he knows that himself – and knows how to make the most of what he has,” he said.
“He’s one of the best ball players and game managers there is so there’s no doubt he’s a focus, but there’s 14 other very good players on the pitch that we have to be aware of when it comes to the gameplan.
“We’re fully aware how important the game is, and I’m sure Newcastle will be going into it thinking the same thing. It’s massive for us to ensure we concentrate on what we can do to impact the game.
“We have good preparation already this week, and we feel like we are in the best shape possible. It’s one we really hope we can win and we want to set the record straight after what happened at Northampton.”
However, the most important stat ahead of the match could be their last meeting – Worcester beat Newcastle 28-20 back in Round 4.
And Falcons scrum-half Michael Young says that no matter their away form, Worcester are not a team to be underestimated.
“Worcester are a very good team,” he said. “They are a bit like ourselves in that they are in a similar position down the bottom but they have some very good players.
“It’s another one of those games where we really want to perform. You can’t pay too much attention to the fact that we are both near the bottom, we have to focus on just getting the win and then moving onto the next match.
“We’re pleased with how our home form is going at the moment so we want to carry that on and put in a good performance for our fans on Friday night.”
(Kingston Park, 7.45pm)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (165th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Ashley Rowden & Robin Goodliffe. TMO: Sean Davey.
Live on BT Sport