Planet Rugby

Gopperth's misses prove costly

06th September 2009 17:14

Share:

Jimmy Gopperth v Leeds

Jimmy Gopperth: A mixed debut

Jimmy Gopperth missed four penalty attempts on his Newcastle debut as Leeds Carnegie claimed a 9-9 draw on their return to the Guinness Premiership.

The highly-rated New Zealander, 26, has been tasked with filling Jonny Wilkinson's kicking role following the England fly-half's move to Toulon.

Yet Gopperth failed to match Wilkinson's accuracy with the boot as he converted only three of seven penalty kicks in a bitterly disappointing encounter which saw precious little freeflowing rugby.

All of Leeds' points came from the boot of fly-half Ceiron Thomas, who landed three penalties of his own but still managed to miss two, and despite a late rally the Yorkshire side could not conjure a precious victory.

There has been much change at both clubs during the summer with Newcastle having allowed 25 players to leave and brought in 18 new ones.

Five of their new recruits - Gopperth, Gcobani Bobo, James Hudson and former Leeds pair Rob Vickerman and Tom Biggs - were handed starting roles.

Gopperth, despite his failings with the boot, showed enough glimpses of quality to suggest he is capable of making a positive impact on the Premiership this season.

The Kiwi looked to orchestrate affairs at every opportunity during the opening exchanges and illustrated his class with a stream of probing kicks.

He missed a penalty in the second minute but moments later then Falcons drove at the heart of the Leeds defence in a fine move which almost harvested a try.

Bobo broke from halfway and embarked on a fine run down the left flank and, although his progress was halted, Biggs collected possession 20 metres out.

He spotted Gopperth in support to his right but his pass was wayward and the opportunity spurned.

Gopperth did get the visitors off the mark with a routine penalty soon after and, with the Falcons superior up front, Leeds initially looked to be there for the taking.

Yet Leeds head coach Neil Back and his old Leicester team-mate Andy Key have fashioned a side with guts.

After Gopperth missed another penalty from distance, Leeds began to enjoy a brief bout of sustained pressure and Thomas landed a long-range penalty in the 23rd minute having missed one three minutes earlier.

Gopperth failed with the boot again in the 33rd minute and Thomas then did likewise in first-half injury-time to cap a thoroughly underwhelming opening period.

The pattern continued four minutes after the restart when Gopperth missed his fourth penalty from five attempts, yet Newcastle began to build up a head of steam.

A forward pass denied them a try in the 56th minute after they fashioned a fine move which stretched Leeds to breaking point down the left flank.

Gopperth claimed his second penalty on the hour mark and then Thomas did likewise four minutes later.

Gopperth struck again in the 69th minute to put Newcastle 9-6 ahead but Leeds drew level with six minutes remaining when Thomas landed his third penalty from five attempts.

The scorers:

For Leeds:
Pens: Thomas 3

For Newcastle:
Pens: Gopperth 3

Leeds Carnegie: 15 Jon Goodridge , 14 Richard Welding, 13 Jonny Hepworth, 12 Scott Barrow, 11 Lee Blackett, 10 Ceiron Thomas, 9 Andy Gomarsall, 8 Rhys Oakley, 7 Hendre Fourie, 6 Kearnan Myall, 5 Marco Wentzel (capt), 4 Phil Murphy, 3 Tommy McGee, 2 Vili Ma'asi, 1 Gareth Hardy.
Replacements: 16 Rob Rawlinson, 17 Alex Moreno, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 Alfie To'oala, 20 Danny Paul, 21 Scott Mathie, 22 Henry Paul, 23 Scott Armstrong.

Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Danny Williams, 13 Rob Vickerman, 12 Gcobani Bobo, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Micky Young, 8 Peter Browne, 7 Brent Wilson, 6 Adam Balding, 5 James Hudson, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Carl Hayman (capt), 2 Rob Vickers, 1 Jon Golding.
Replacements: 16 Matt Thompson, 17 Laurence Ovens, 18 Micky Ward, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 Ed Williamson, 21 Hall Charlton, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Charlie Amesbury.

Referee: J.P Doyle

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00