More than Goode at Oakham

By JIM HOOLEY, Daily Mail

Last updated at 14:41 17 November 2005

Alex Goode has two immediate ambitions in life - to win the Daily Mail U18 Cup this season and then become a professional rugby player.

The way he is orchestrating Oakham from fly-half this season may take care of the first, and the fact that he is already attached to Bath's academy

and a contender for the England U18 team should guarantee the second.

Oakham, champions in 2002 and 2003, are on the march again but, on Wednesday, they needed all of Goode's skills to subdue tenacious Warwick 22-6, a scoreline which did not do justice to the visitors.

Goode kicked three penalties to give Oakham a 9-3 half time lead and two more to stretch the score to 15-6. Then, in injury time, came the coup de grace as he waltzed through to set up a try for centre Bertie Bailey, which he then converted.

How good is this slip of a fly-half? Great hands, eye for the gap, trusty boot and Director of Sport Charlie Welch gives him the greatest accolade by saying he would have walked into his two Cup-winning sides.

But there's more to unbeaten Oakham - they only conceded their first try of the season a fortnight ago but still trounced old rivals Uppingham - and it will take an exceptional side to lower their colours.

John Cleveland, who match Oakham as a nursery for Leicester Tigers, could be that side after winning 22-0 at Bedford Modern to set up a juicy fifth round clash at Oakham. Many of the Hinckley side know what winning at Twickenham is all about, having beaten Sherborne 17-12 to win the Under 15 Cup in 2004.

They have not lost in nine games this season and know their forwards will hold the key since, if Oakham lack anything, it is size up front.

But it was John Cleveland's ability to apply pressure in all areas of the pitch that led to victory at Bedford. Only a Tom Short penalty separated the sides at half time, but the visitors' gradually got on top and England

flanker Chris Mundy scored from a catch and drive.

Short converted centre Maati Pallas' try to make it 15-0 before John Cleveland brought on their not-so-secret weapon. Winger Vavae, at 6ft 3ins

and 220lbs, is the lastest off the Tuilagi production line - he is already the fifth brother to wear a Leicester shirt having played for the Academy - and the Samoan powered over for JC's third try.

Short obliged again as he took his points tally to an impressive 70 for the season.