Fixtures - Top Bar

Match Report: Wasps 25 Exeter Chiefs 24

Jimmy Gopperth’s last-gasp conversion broke Exeter Chiefs hearts and denied them their piece of history, as Wasps snatched victory at the Ricoh Arena.

Two quickfire Thomas Waldrom scores put the Chiefs 14-6 in front at the interval on their Champions Cup quarter-final debut, following two early Gopperth penalties.

But Wasps meant business early in the second half, with a quality team score finished off by Charles Piutau, and despite Harry Williams’ try for Exeter, Frank Halai crashed over before Piutau crossed in the drying moments to set up Gopperth’s clutch kick.

As Gopperth got the game underway there was an electric atmosphere at the Ricoh Arena, with returning skipper James Haskell finding Charles Piutau in space on the left early on.

The first significant shove was made after five minutes as Wasps won a scrum penalty, and Gopperth ensured the hosts got their reward for an energetic start with an excellent kick from just short of halfway.

But once Exeter finally got their hands on the ball they looked dangerous in attack, with both Gareth Steenson and Jack Nowell making good breaks before Haskell earned a penalty at the breakdown.

Wasps continued to pile the pressure on with Joe Launchbury, Haskell and Jake Cooper-Woolley all carrying hard, but it was not until the 15th minute they got their first real sight of the try-line.

It was Siale Piutau who made the break after a lineout, and after he looked to shift it right the ball was lost forward by Gopperth as he tried to touch down.

But when Waldrom was pinged just a minute later, after George Smith made the tackle and Nathan Hughes put the pressure on, Gopperth doubled Wasps lead from the 22.

Exeter earned a scrum penalty of their own on 25 minutes for Steenson to kick them into a dangerous position, but with Wasps expecting the driving maul Waldrom peeled off the back and was held up by an excellent tackle from replacement Bradley Davies.

Chiefs were now in the ascendancy however, and with Wasps conceding a 31st minute penalty deep in their own territory, Steenson kicked for the corner.

And that brought the visitors’ opening score – with the driving maul working as effectively as it has done in Aviva Premiership Rugby and Thomas Waldrom was once more the beneficiary.

Steenson added the extras but Wasps had the chance to hit straight back when Exeter infringed at the breakdown, although when Gopperth’s penalty came back off the post the Chiefs made them pay.

Waldrom was at the centre of the action once more as from nowhere he intercepted a loose Wasps pass, and charged 30 metres over the line – his momentum carrying him over despite being caught.

A simple Steenson conversion made the half-time score 14-6, but Wasps made a explosive start to the second half with a special, sweeping try.

Daly freed Siale Piutau to make the break and find Dan Robson inside, and his delightful grubber kick was collected by Charles Piutau to score in the corner.

But when Geoff Parling and Dom Armand combined they took the Chiefs within five metres of the tryline, and Williams burrowed his way over – with the try awarded via the TMO.

Henry Slade’s 55-metre effort fell just short as Exeter looked to turn the screw, and a wonderful Chiefs move on 51 minutes ended with Parling crossing but that score was chalked off for a forward pass.

Haskell went in at the side on 57 minutes and a simple penalty for Steenson extended his side’s lead, but a phenomenal break from Elliot Daly paved the way for Wasps to get back in it.

Christian Wade beat several defenders before brilliant hands saw Siale Piutau feed Halai to score, and Gopperth’s conversion brought them back to 24-18.

Wasps had all the momentum and threw everything at Exeter for ten minutes, but it took until the very last minute for Charles Piutau to go through a defender and allow the ice-cool Gopperth to break Chiefs hearts.
 
Wasps: Piutau C, Wade, Daly, Piutau S, Halai, Gopperth, Robson, Mullan (McIntyre 59), Festuccia (Johnson 51), Cooper-Woolley, Launchbury, Myall (Davies 21), Haskell (Young 59), Smith, Hughes
Replacements not used: Cittadini, Simpson, Jackson, Miller
 
Exeter Chiefs: Turner, Nowell, Slade, Whitten (Campagnaro 70), Woodburn, Steenson, Chudley, Moon (Hepburn 58), Cowan-Dickie (Yeandle 66), Low (Williams 21), Lees (56), Parling, Armand, Salvi (Ewers 58), Waldrom
Replacements not used: Lewis, Short
 
Scorers
 
Wasps
Tries: C Piutau 2, Halai
Conversions: Gopperth 2
Penalties: Gopperth 2
 
Exeter Chiefs
Tries: Waldrom 2, Williams
Conversions: Steenson 3
Penalties: Steenson
 
Referee: Romain Poite (Fra)

Latest News

Match Reaction: Harlequins 18 Leicester Tigers 27

Assistant coach Geordan Murphy tipped his cap to a steely second-half showing from the Leicester Tigers replacements, who changed the…

England Under-20 secure impressive bonus-point win over Italy

England secured their third bonus-point win of the 2017 Six Nations with an eight-try 46-0 victory over Italy at the…

Match Report: Harlequins 18 Leicester Tigers 27

Leicester Tigers’ impressive second-half comeback saw them score 24 unanswered points and stun hosts Harlequins at Twickenham Stoop to claim…

Myler still dreaming of top four with Northampton Saints

He has been the cornerstone of Northampton’s back-line for more than a decade and fly-half Stephen Myler insists he will…

Stephen Myler

Joseph returns for derby clash against Bristol Rugby

Jonathan Joseph will return to the Bath Rugby starting line-up for the Aviva Premiership clash with West Country rivals Bristol…

Chiefs side to face Newcastle Falcons

Rob Baxter may be wary of the threat Newcastle Falcons pose to his Exeter side, but insists its challenges such…

Waldrom

Wasps team to play Gloucester at the Ricoh Arena this Sunday

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named the Wasps’ side to take on Gloucester at the Ricoh Arena this Sunday,…

Le Roux Wasps

Sale Sharks Team News

Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Saracens in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday (kick off 2.45pm)  at…

Josh Charnley

Newcastle Falcons team to face Exeter Chiefs

Newcastle Falcons have made three changes ahead of Saturday’s Aviva Premiership trip to Exeter Chiefs (kick-off 3pm). Chris Harris replaces…

Evan Olmstead

Gloucester Rugby make two changes for Sunday’s trip to Wasps

Gloucester Rugby keep faith with the majority of the side that started against Saracens last weekend, making just two changes…

Lewis Ludlow

Bristol Rugby team to face Bath Rugby

Bristol Rugby play host to Bath Rugby in the much-anticipated West Country derby on Sunday (1pm KO). Mark Tainton’s men…

Gavin Henson

Saracens name team for Sale clash

Saracens have named their team to face Sale Sharks in Saturday’s round 16 Aviva Premiership clash at Allianz Park, kick-off…

Joel Conlon

Annett and Dowson return for Saints test

Niall Annett and Phil Dowson are among three changes to the Warriors starting line-up for their trip to Franklin’s Gardens…

Phil Dowson

Northampton Saints team news versus Worcester

The Northampton Saints team has been named for Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Round 16 home match against Worcester. The Saints head…

Michael Paterson

RFU Disciplinary: Francois Louw

An appeal against the sanction imposed on Francois Louw of Bath Rugby was heard by an RFU Disciplinary appeal panel…

AUDIO: Preview of this weekend’s Six Nations and Aviva Premiership action

It's the third round of matches in the Six Nations Championship this weekend, while action also continues in the Aviva…

Twickenham Stoop

England team to face Italy at Twickenham

Eddie Jones has named his side for England’s RBS 6 Nations game against Italy at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday (kick-off…

Saints eleven pen new deals

Northampton Saints has today announced new deals with 11 members of the current squad. Three of the more experienced players,…

Luther Burrell