Sunday 25 September 2016

Leinster's loss is wasps' gain as Gopperth proves point to doubters

Published 12/04/2016 | 02:30

Wasps' Jimmy Gopperth. Photo: Tony Marshall/Getty Images
Wasps' Jimmy Gopperth. Photo: Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Despite the Irish absence, it was another fantastic weekend of Champions Cup intrigue with pride of place going to the thriller at the Ricoh Arena.

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Quite apart from the quality of the fare and two contrasting styles - each appealing in its own way - I thought there a real element of karma in the manner in which a sensational game played itself out.

Specifically, I am referring to Jimmy Gopperth's last-kick conversion to win a place in the last four which he nailed from the right touchline.

It didn't need that kick to convince me of the bum rap and lack of appreciation he got in his time at Leinster. Gopperth is a class act, fully appreciated by fellow players, but abused shamefully by a hard core of so-called Leinster fans in his time here. Leinster's loss is Wasps' gain and that was always going to be the case. With Ian Madigan en route to Bordeaux, what would Leo Cullen give to have the talented Kiwi playmaker still on board now?

And as for Charles Piutau, what an exciting signing he is. Quite how Les Kiss is going to come up with a first-choice backline given the quantity and quality at the Kingspan is beyond me.

The power of the euro has brought an unfair advantage to an elite few and yet Toulon bowing out to Racing made for a better weekend all round.

Irish Independent

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