Wasps came from behind to edge to a 25-20 win against Exeter at the Ricoh Arena
The Chiefs led 17-8 at the break thanks to tries from Thomas Waldrom and Will Chudley
Tries from Jimmy Gopperth, Dan Robson and Tommy Taylor won it for the hosts
Jimmy Gopperth scored 15 points for Wasps as they overcame 2015-16 finalists Exeter Chiefs to get their Premiership season off to a perfect start at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday.
Wasps were looking for payback after last season’s Premiership semi-final defeat at the hands of Exeter. Nevertheless, it was the Chiefs that started on the front foot with Thomas Waldrom opening the try-scoring within three minutes. Henry Slade then added the conversion before slotting a penalty to then give the Chiefs an early 10-0 lead.
Gopperth clawed three points back for the home side with a penalty of his own before with eight minutes left in the first half the Kiwi beat four men to score in the corner. Gopperth though couldn’t manage the conversion, striking the post from an acute angle, 8-10.
Exeter reestablished their lead before the break though as a great one-two on the wing released Will Chudley to touch down under the posts for the away side’s second try of the match. Slade bagged the simple conversion to make it 17-8 going into halftime.
Slade kicked Exeter into a 20-8 lead with another penalty after the restart, but the hosts responded, with Dan Robson and Tommy Taylor crossing to level the scores 20-20.
Gopperth converted Taylor’s try to hand the home side the lead for the first time before a penalty after 79 minutes from the Kiwi clinched a 25-20 win for Wasps.
Wasps: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Guy Thompson, 6 Sam Jones, 5 James Gaskell, 4 Joe Launchbury (c), 3 Phil Swainston, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Matt Mullan
Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Marty Moore, 19 Matt Symons, 20 Alex Rieder, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Brendan Macken, 23 Frank Halai
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Ollie Devoto, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Ian Whitten, 10 Henry Slade, 9 Will Chudley, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Don Armand (c), 5 Damian Welch, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie 1 Ben Moon
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Dave Dennis, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 James Short
Date: Sunday, September 4
Venue: Ricoh Arena
Kick-off: 15:00 BST (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Tom Foley
Assistant Referees: Gareth Copsey, Jonathan Healy
TMO: Stuart Terheeg