Gopperth sinks Gloucester

Date published: February 26 2017

Wasps extended their lead at the top of the Premiership to six points with a 35-22 win over Gloucester.

The Jimmy Gopperth-inspired hosts had been run close by their opponents for most of the afternoon, but the bonus point victory courtesy of three touchdowns from the New Zealander. Gopperth was the thorn in Gloucester’s side, scoring all of Wasps’ points in the first half in which both sides showed class and an ability to win the contest.

Billy Twelvetrees had the visitors in front with a well taken penalty early on but Gopperth handed Wasps the lead, touching down in the corner, though the wind prevented the in-form fly-half from adding the extras.

Gloucester were not prepared to lie down though and scored a converted try to turn the scoreline around with James Hook finding it all too easy to cross over before Twelvetrees, once again, used the blustery conditions to his advantage, slotting in the two points.

Soon after, the centre was not so composed and could not extend the lead from the tee, allowing Gloucester to come in and steal soon after with Goppeth kicking through the posts and then driving through the back of the maul to take the ball over the line and converting for a five point lead at the break.

The second half proved to be just as tight and exciting as the first, for the most part with Gloucester levelling the scores just minutes after the restart as David Halaifonua touched down to reward the visitors’ dominance in the early stages of the second 40.

It didn’t take long for Wasps to prove their table-topping pedigree and they responded quickly to that setback through debutant Willie Le Roux after Thomas Young caught Danny Cipriani’s grubber kick with Gopperth converting and then hitting home a penalty soon after.

Gloucester were not done though and Max Scott touched down near the posts allowing Twelvetrees an easy conversion to close the gap to three points.

Man of the match Gopperth was again on hand to kill off Worcester, completing his hat-trick from the back of the driving maul and grabbing his side the bonus point, while minutes from the end, Christian Wade confirmed the victory with his side’s fifth try of the contest.

The scorers:

For Wasps:
Gopperth 3, Le Roux, Wade
Cons: Gopperth 2
Pens: Gopperth 2

For Gloucester:
Hook, Halaifonua, Scott
Cons: Twelvetrees 2
Pens: Twelvetrees

Wasps: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Jimmy Gopperth, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Willie Le Roux, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Alex Rieder, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 James Gaskell, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Matt Mullan (c)
Replacements: 16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Marty Moore, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Jack Willis, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Alapati Leiua, 23 Josh Bassett

Gloucester: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 David Halaifonua, 10 Billy Burns, 9 Willi Heinz (c), 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Jacob Rowan, 6 Lewis Ludlow, 5 Jeremy Thrush, 4 Tom Savage, 3 Paul Doran-Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Josh Hohneck
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu’u, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 John Afoa, 19 Mariano Galarza, 20 Sione Kalamafoni, 21 Callum Braley, 22 James Hook, 23 Henry Trinder

Referee: Andrew Jackson
Assistant Referees: Wayne Falla, Peter Allan
TMO: Geoff Warren