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Loffreda hails Goode attack
23 March 2008 10:36am
Leicester director of rugby Marcelo Loffreda hailed Andy Goode's "outstanding performance" as the defending champions beat Wasps to reach the EDF Energy Cup final.
Goode has not been capped since Andy Robinson's final match in charge, against South Africa in November 2006, but Loffreda believes his international days are not yet over.
"Andy Goode's was an outstanding performance," said Loffreda.
"His challenge is to be consistent, that is something I have been talking to him about and today he was 95% consistent.
"Goode is a very professional player. He is a decision maker, he understands our game plan and knows the best way to play.
"With these kind of performances he demonstrates he is a real gentleman and a real professional.
"Two months ago the opinion of many people close to rugby (was that he could be back in the England squad).
"He has come back from a few injuries with a firm and solid game. If he keeps this consistency at this level he would do perfectly well as part of the England squad."
After working a narrow half-time lead, Leicester pulled clear with tries from Seru Rabeni, the excellent Dan Hipkiss and Martin Castrogiovanni.
It was Leicester's first knock-out success against fierce rivals Wasps and went some way at least to avenging last year's Heineken Cup final defeat, which denied the Tigers an unprecedented treble.
The Tigers came into the game on the back of a poor run of form, with defeat to Worcester their third in five matches.
Loffreda added: "We owed ourselves a good performance. Not only were the forwards very good but the backs were as well.
"We know we need to keep improving our game. At times we lost a bit of concentration but we are very happy with this win and this performance.
"We never mentioned our record against Wasps. We just tried to prepare for this big game and the players were really focused."
Cipriani and Paul Sackey carried the Wasps fight with two tries apiece - Cipriani's first was a brilliant solo effort, his second came late in the day when the game was already up.
Wasps now face a major battle to reach next season's Heineken Cup. Currently sixth, they must finish in the top four of the Guinness Premiership to guarantee qualification.
"A play-off place in the Premiership in now our clear goal," said boss Ian McGeechan.
"We have only lost four games since the World Cup but they have been key games. We know where our focus is. We want a play-off place. I don't think we'll be as below par as that again.
"I have no complaints about the result. It is frustrating to be able to score four tries and not come out the winning side.
"I think it shows one thing we have been doing well is attacking. We have been scoring a lot of tries.
"I thought our scrummaging was good today but in the other phases we were second best. When you give Leicester that amount of ball it becomes a tough ask.
"They deserved it today. I can't argue with that."
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