Gopperth pulls the strings as Newcastle stage fighting comeback
Newcastle 29 Wasps 17
Saturday 11 September 2010
Fly-half Jimmy Gopperth was at the heart of a remarkable revival that earned Newcastle Falcons their first Premiership win of the season last night after they looked in danger of being swept aside. Wasps led 17-3 after totally controlling the opening half-hour, but Newcastle scored 26 unanswered points, most of them from the boot of Gopperth.
Wasps' performance was ultimately as unconvincing as their earlier insistence that they have not finalised the six-figure signing of Gavin Henson.
"Further to speculation and inaccurate reports in the media, London Wasps can confirm that no further signings have been made to their 2010-11 squad," said Wasps in a statement that is hardly likely to dampen speculation about Henson.
And, as talented as he is when fit, there was at least one passage of play last night when Wasps left the crowd wondering whether a major investment in Henson was really necessary.
It came when Mark van Gisbergen collected a long kick upfield and back-flicked the ball to Tom Varndell. It was an audacious pass but the ball ran loose.
Newcastle failed to accept the opportunity as Tom Haughton scooped up the ball on the run and sparked a flowing move that involved half a dozen players. It was an inventive, incisive counter-attack that ended in a try for Ben Jacobs.
With Van Gisbergen converting, Wasps led 14-3. The Falcons had looked lethargic from the first minute when Van Gisbergen was narrowly wide with a penalty, but – as the Falcons hesitated – Varndell was able to charge forward and touch down.
Dave Walder also kicked a penalty for Wasps against his former club, whose only response was three points from Gopperth. Van Gisbergen made it 17-3 but pack pressure brought a converted try for Redford Pennycook as the Falcons stirred.
And, the pattern of the game was totally transformed as Tait's team went on to score the next 26 points, through a Tim Swinson try and the kicking accuracy of Gopperth.
Newcastle: Tries Pennycook, Swinson; Cons Gopperth 2; Penalties Gopperth 5. Wasps: Tries Varndell, Jacobs; Cons Van Gisbergen 2; Pens Van Gisbergen.
Newcastle: Fielden (A Tait, 51); Bobo, Eves, Henderson (Manning, 65), Amesbury; Gopperth, Young (Pilgrim, 72); Golding (Shiels, 71), Vickers, Ryan (Brookes, 65), Hudson, Swinson (Townson, 72), B Wilson (Welch, 51), Pennycook, Hogg.
Wasps: Van Gisbergen; Haughton (Lemi, 72), Jacobs, Flutey, Varndell; Walder, Berry (Davies, 47); Payne, Webber, Taulafo (Broster, 44), Shaw, Cannon, Ward-Smith, Rees, Powell (Worsley, 71).
Radamel Falcao exclusive: Forward says joining Manchester United is a 'dream come true'
Arsenal transfer news: Ray Parlour urges Arsene Wenger to make late move for Edinson Cavani
WWE Raw preview: Will John Cena continue to defy the threat of Brock Lesnar?
Danny Welbeck to Arsenal: Arsene Wenger pictured in Rome as club close in on Manchester United striker for £17m
Danny Welbeck signs for Arsenal: Gunners confirm signing from Manchester United
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain