Wasps salvage dramatic draw
EUROPEAN CUP REPORT: Jimmy Gopperth converted Nathan Hughes's last-gasp try to earn Wasps a gritty 20-all draw at Toulouse in Pool Two of the European Champions Cup.
Gopperth kicked 10 points in all with Hughes and wing Josh Bassett getting over the whitewash to deny their French hosts a valuable win following their Round One loss at Connacht.
Toulouse twice held a lead of seven points, but tries from replacement Census Johnston and centre Gael Fickou, plus 10 points from Sebastien Bezy could not give them the spoils.
Gopperth, playing in the unfamiliar position of fullback, gave the home side an early lead, but Bezy soon levelled matters as the home side made the better start.
The scrumhalf then gave them the lead after Maxime Medard's adventure from deep had sparked a flowing attack which ended deep in Wasps territory.
However, the French side failed to claim the restart and infringed to allow Gopperth the simple chance to bring the sides level again.
Wasps were having to put plenty of defensive work in and had to survive a siege on their line on the stroke of half-time after Christian Wade had given up a five-metre scrum by misjudging Toby Flood's kick for touch.
Time and again the scrum was set and reset by referee George Clancy, but the English side lifted the pressure when Danny Cipriani held Carl Axtens up over the line.
However, they undid their good work by conceding a soft try 10 minutes into the second half. Wade's decision to take a quick line-out deep in his own 22 as Wasps failed to clear their lines.
It ended with Thierry Dusautoir charging down Cipriani's kick and Johnston picking up to rumble over.
Bezy converted but the game was beginning to loosen up and Wasps looked the happier with that development and put together their best passage of play in the game only for Gopperth's final pass not to go to hand.
They did not have to wait long for a try however, with Gopperth sending Bassett racing over and adding the extras to level.
Back came Toulouse and they reclaimed the lead when Fickou feinted this way and that to cut through the spread Wasps defence and crash over.
Bezy converted for a seven-point Toulouse lead, but Wasps would not wilt and they got their reward as Hughes slipped through Paul Perez to score, with Gopperth nailing the crucial conversion.
Tries: Johnston, Fickou
Cons: Bezy 2
Pens: Bezy 2
Tries: Bassett, Hughes
Cons: Gopperth 2
Pens: Gopperth 2
Toulouse: 15 Maxime Médard, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Gael Fickou, 12 Yann David, 11 Paul Perez, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Sébastien Bézy, 8 Carl Axtens, 7 Thierry Dusautoir, 6 Francois Cros, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Yoann Maestri, 3 Dorian Aldegheri, 2 Christopher Tolofua, 1 Cyril Baille.
Replacements: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Census Johnston, 19 Gregory Lamboley, 20 Piula Faasalele, 21 Jean-Marc Doussain, 22 Florian Fritz, 23 Kunatani Kunabuli.
Wasps: 15 Jimmy Gopperth, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Matt Symons, 4 Joe Launchbury (captain), 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Tom Cruse, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Marty Moore, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Guy Thompson, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Alapati Leiua.
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Leo Colgan (Ireland), Barrie O’Connell (Ireland)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)