Kurtley Beale scored one try and set up another as Wasps beat Connacht 32-17 with a bonus-point in the Champions Cup on Sunday.
It is Connacht’s first defeat of their European campaign, while the match marked Wasps going three points clear at the top thanks to a bonus point claimed late on in the contest.
Debutant Beale got his Wasps career off to the perfect start with a solo try, rolling over the line in style to score the first points of the game. Gopperth converted to hand the hosts a 7-0 lead just five minutes in.
Beale then put a blemish on his first game, being sent to the sin bin for a high tackle, the result of which led Jack Carty to kicking three points from the resultant penalty.
Gopperth restored the advantage to seven points moments later though after Connacht were penalised for not rolling away.
The visitors were soon level with their first try of the afternoon, and it came courtesy of Kieran Marmion who was teed up by John Muldoon before breaking away and diving over, and Carty converted.
Wasps were back ahead before the break as Gopperth found the posts from the tee after Connacht went off their feet.
If the first half was entertaining, the start to the second was something else, with both sides scoring early tries. First, Wasps reached 20 points with a converted try from Nathan Hughes, who smashed over after Ashley Johnson broke free from the maul.
Connacht needed to respond quickly and did so inside two minutes through Rory Parata who raced under the posts after a Wasps pass was intercepted deep in their own half.
Going into the final quarter of the game, the hosts got more of a handle on the game and they were rewarded as Joe Launchbury went over after a lovely pass from Gopperth who added the extras.
And, with minutes remaining, Wasps got their bonus point and everything but the win as Josh Bassett received the ball after a slick pass from Beale, with Gopperth this time unable to add two points, though it mattered little.
Tries: Beale, Hughes, Launchbury, Bassett
Cons: Gopperth 3
Pens: Gopperth 2
Yellow Card: Beale
Tries: Marmion, Parata
Cons: Carty 2
Wasps: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Alapati Leiua, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Joe Launchbury (c), 3 Marty Moore, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Matt Mullan
Replacements: 16 Alex Rieder, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 19 James Gaskell, 20 Guy Thompson, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Brendan Macken, 23 Frank Halai
Connacht: 15 Tiernan O’Halloran, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Stacey Ili, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Cian Kelleher, 10 Jack Carty, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 John Muldoon (c), 7 Jake Heenan, 6 Nepia Fox-Matamua, 5 Quinn Roux, 4 Ultan Dillane, 3 Conor Carey, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Denis Buckley
Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 JP Cooney, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Sean O’Brien, 20 Eoin McKeon, 21 Caolin Blade, 22 Rory Parata, 23 Matt Healy
Referee: Alexandre Ruiz (France)
Assistant Referees: Cédric Marchat (France), Cédric Clave (France)
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France)