Planet Rugby

Gopperth gives Wasps the boot

03rd January 2010 18:41

Share:

Tuipulotu v Wasps

Rugged: Tane Tuipulotu makes ground against Dan Ward-Smith

Newcastle ground out a rugged 12-6 Guinness Pemiership victory over Wasps at Adams Park on Sunday, with Jimmy Gopperth landing the points.

Gopperth kicked four penalties from seven attempts to conclude the Falcons' three-match losing streak and register their first win in nine visits to High Wycombe.

It was yet another poor advert for the Premiership, which continues to enjoy a boom in attendance figures despite the poor standard of rugby produced this season.

On Saturday Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter launched a scathing attack on the standard of refereeing, which he blames for ruining the game as a spectacle.

But official Tim Wigglesworth was hardly responsible for the lack of entertainment on shown at Adams Park on Sunday.

Endless kicking, much of it aimless, combined with high error and penalty counts, tested the patience of supporters in freezing conditions.

England and Lions lock Simon Shaw rose above the mediocrity to become the dominant forward on the pitch, closely followed by Newcastle skipper Carl Hayman.

But there were precious few highlights in a drab encounter settled by penalties, with Shaw foiled by Hayman in the only try-scoring chance.

Wasps, who dispatched Harlequins in front of a 76,000 crowd at Twickenham last Sunday, used three kickers in Dave Walder, Danny Cipriani and Mark van Gisbergen.

Walder and van Gisbergen landed three points and the tone for the afternoon was set in the opening exchanges which saw Walder and Gopperth swap penalties.

Spotting space on the left, Cipriani attempted to launch a counter that was undermined by his poor, looping pass.

Wasps' scrum was enduring a torrid time, back-pedalling furiously at every set-piece, and Newcastle were also in the ascendancy at the lineout.

Despite all their problems, Wasps would have been ahead but for two missed penalties from the usually reliable Walder, the Premiership's most prolific kicker this season.

Gopperth squandered three points from in front of the posts and just as the match seemed destined to reach the half-hour mark without a single highlight, Wasps burst into life.

Winger David Lemi combined with Cipriani to make the initial break, leading to Shaw and Mark Robinson driving the team forward with a mixture of brute strength and slick footwork.

Shaw finished the move by barging over but Hayman managed to get a hand beneath the ball and TMO Roy Marfleet refused to award the score.

Gopperth struck the crossbar with a long-range penalty but was more successful with a marginally less difficult attempt moments later before missing a third on the stroke of half-time.

Newcastle ended a first half lacking in thrills 6-3 ahead and after the interval Wasps continued to be punished by referee Wigglesworth.

Once more they crumbled at the scrum and Gopperth made them pay with three points, but centre Steve Kefu made a telling break to dent Newcastle's momentum.

Walder was replaced by Van Gisbergen with Cipriani switching from full-back to fly-half and the England international took over the kicking responsibilities.

He pulled his first attempt, which should have been routine, and Wasps turned to Van Gisbergen for the next chance which the substitute slotted over.

Gopperth restored Newcastle's six-point advantage with his fourth penalty.

Wasps launched a late flurry, including a dangerous attack with the last play of the game, but it was too little, too late.

The scorers:

For Wasps:
Pens: Walder, Van Gisbergen

For Newcastle:
Pens: Gopperth 4

Wasps: 15 Danny Cipriani, 14 Tom Varndell , 13 Dominic Waldouck, 12 Steve Kefu, 11 David Lemi, 10 Dave Walder, 9 Mark Robinson, 8 Dan Ward-Smith, 7 Will Matthews, 6 John Hart (c), 5 George Skivington, 4 Simon Shaw, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 Joe Ward, 17 Sakaria Taulafo, 18 Bob Baker, 19 Marty Veale, 20 Dan Leo, 21 James Honeyben, 22 Ben Jacobs, 23 Mark Van Gisbergen

Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Gcobani Bobo, 13 Rob Vickerman, 12 Tane Tu'ipulotu, 11 Charlie Amesbury, 10 Jimmy Gopperth; 9 H Charlton, 8 Filipo Levi, 7 Brent Wilson, 6 Josh Afu, 5 Tim Swinson, 4 James Hudson, 3 Carl Hayman (c), 2 Rob Vickers, 1 Jon Golding.
Replacements: 16 Matt Thompson, 17 Micky Ward, 18 Grant Shiells, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 Will Welch, 21 Chris Pilgrim, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Tom Biggs.

Referee:Tim Wigglesworth

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