Newcastle's lengthy losing run brought to an end by Gopperth

Newcastle 15 Wasps 10

Where would the team in black be without their Kiwi fly-half? Already in the second tier of English rugby, in all probability. As it is, the Newcastle Falcons have Jimmy Gopperth in tow as they fight another campaign to preserve their top-flight status.

The man from New Plymouth won the Premiership Golden Boot in each of his first two seasons as a Newcastle player and yesterday his right peg had the Midas touch that earned Alan Tait's side a priceless victory. Five penalty successes out of five overcame an out-of-sorts Wasps and ended a losing streak of 11 league matches, stretching back to Harlequins' visit in March.

It was a vital victory for the Falcons, who had been in danger of being cut adrift at the foot of the table. They remain bottom on points-difference but are now level on points with Northampton. Gopperth got the scoreboard kicking in the second minute, converting a penalty he forced with a deft chip over the Wasps defence. The lead lasted just three minutes. Christian Wade scooted in down the right after scrum-half Nic Berry whisked the ball to the blindside from a ruck on Newcastle's 10-metre line.

It was the flying wing's fifth try of the season and it was converted by fly-half Ryan Davis, leaving Wasps 7-3 to the good. That, however, was that on the scoring front for the visitors until the hour mark.

By then, the Falcons had clawed themselves 12-7 in front, courtesy of three more penalties from their Junior All Black outside-half. Davis nailed one for Wasps in the 60th minute but Gopperth's fifth sealed victory for Newcastle – and confirmed the fate of a Wasps side who have lost three in a row now.

Scorers: Newcastle: Penalties Gopperth 5. Wasps: Try Wade; Conversion Davies; Penalty Davis.

Newcastle: A Tait; L Fielden, C Uys, J Helleur (L Eves, 60), R Shortland; J Gopperth, W Chudley (C Pilgrim, 67); G Shiells (D Fearn, 77), J Graham (M Mayhew, 60), A Wells (J Hall, 58), T Swinson (G Townson, 75), J Hudson (capt), R Mayhew (M Wilson, 66), W Welch, A Hogg.

Wasps: H Souhtwell; T Varndell, C Mayor, C Bell, C Wade; R Davis, N Berry; T Payne (J Castex, 22-36) , R Webber, B Broster (S McIntyre, 73), R Birkett, R Filipo, J Launchbury, J Poff, J Hart (capt).

Referee: S Davey (Sussex).

Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Sport
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower