JORDAN Rhodes scores when he wants, so goes the terrace chant that has followed the vast majority of his 54 goals for Rovers.
Well, as Saturday made abundantly clear, he clearly write his own scripts too.
The build up to the match had been completely overshadowed by Hull City’s pursuit of the best goalscorer outside of the Premier League.
Rovers owners Venky’s moved to end the uncertainty by issuing a statement less than five hours before the game got under way, confirming that they had rejected a brace of Hull bids and that they had no intention of selling the club’s ‘icon’.
The next question was would Rhodes play? And would he be in the right frame of mind after 48 hours of intense speculation?
The answers were yes and an equally emphatic yes.
It took the prolific striker just 13 minutes to open the scoring and kick start a rapid three-goal blitz which ultimately earned Rovers their first home win of the campaign.
And all on his 100th appearance for the club, to boot.
It is a shame, then, that yet again most of the post-match talk centred around referees and penalty decisions rather than Rhodes’ mental strength and professionalism.
Geoff Eltringham’s diabolical decision to award Bournemouth an 81st-minute spot-kick should not obscure the fact that Rovers, worryingly, once more became sloppy in the second half, nearly letting more precious points slip through their fingers, after a thrilling display in the first.
It is a habit Gary Bowyer and his players simply must kick.
But for all the world the contest seemed to be petering out to a satisfactory conclusion until the man in the middle inexplicably pointed to the spot despite it being clear to most in the ground that Alex Baptiste had not fouled Adam Smith.
Smith dived and he deserves every bit as much – if not more – condemnation as Eltringham for the incident that changed the course of the encounter.
Lee Pitman did the rest from 12 yards and nine minutes later Steve Cook was left totally unmarked to head home a Charlie Daniels corner and set up a frantic finale which the Cherries would have capped with an equaliser had Baptiste not done brilliantly to block a certain goal from Tommy Elphick.
It was all so unnecessarily nervy.
But Bowyer, who has never been angrier after a match, insisted that was purely down to Eltringham and Smith.
The Rovers boss, whose side saw their 14-match unbeaten run ended at Norwich City in midweek, said: “We didn’t let them back into the game – at 3-0 we kept them at bay. The referee’s decision let them back in the game.
“To bounce back from the defeat in midweek – it was a fantastic display. I’m really, really pleased with the boys.”
No-one would have questioned that comment after the opening period.
The Cherries, who won their first two games of the campaign before undeservedly losing their third, enjoyed 77 per cent of the possession in the first 10 minutes.
But they were simply blown away after Rhodes chased down a raking pass from Craig Conway and barged Cook off the ball before slipping a cool left-footed shot underneath Lee Camp.
“Jordan’s been magnificent, I cannot praise him highly enough,” said Bowyer, who had an emotional embrace with his talisman after bringing him off to a standing ovation in the 77th minute.
“The way he has dealt with everything has been fantastic.”
Rovers captain Grant Hanley followed in Rhodes’ footsteps by also scoring his first goal of the season, a powerful header from a Tom Cairney corner that Cherries keeper Camp could only help on its way into the net.
And three minutes latee Rudy Gestede took his tally for the term up to three by diverting in a goal-bound effort from Conway past the wrong-footed Camp.
It was the red-hot Gestede’s 12th goal in his last 12 starts.
And he could have had another before the one-sided half was out as he headed inches wide.
Rhodes went even closer when he collected a cutback from the excellent Markus Olsson and drilled another left footer against the post while Ben Marshall – who did well on his first league start of the campaign – stung Camp’s hands.
But Rovers were unable to maintain their momentum after the restart and Paul Robinson was forced to make a trio of saves, the best of which came from Yann Kermorgant when he superbly tipped the striker’s 18-yard strike on to the bar.
However it was not until Smith conned Eltringham that Bournemouth were handed a lifeline – a lifeline they almost grabbed.