Jimmy Gopperth was widely praised for his show of sportsmanship last Friday at Ashton Gate, telling referee Karl Dickson not to go to TMO and instead award Bristol a try without checking the video footage, but the Kiwi’s generosity didn’t hugely please his own Wasps boss Lee Blackett.
Last year’s Gallagher Premiership finalists have been enduring a difficult time in recent weeks and the 37-20 away loss to Bristol was their fourth defeat on the bounce and their sixth in seven matches since the league returned at the end of January following a two-week break.
Behind 16-13 at the break, Wasps saw Bristol’s Joe Joyce get over their line on 55 minutes for the first score of last Friday night’s second half. It appeared that referee Dickson was going upstairs to check whether Joyce had grounded the ball but Gopperth, who was one of the tackling players, told the official not to bother reviewing the footage as the try was good.
On awarding the score without this review, Dickson was heard saying: ‘Thank you, Jimmy, for your honesty.” However, while Gopperth’s candid reaction was much praised, it seemingly didn’t go down as well within the Wasps inner sanctum.
Asked if he was pleased with Gopperth confirming an opposition score without TMO use, Wasps boss Blackett said: “Yeah, yeah, sort of. I know when Mala (Malakai Fekitoa) scored the week before against Gloucester and there was 25 bodies over the top or whatever it was, I didn’t hear any Gloucester players say, ‘He got that down’.
That's class from Wasps' @jimmygopps ?
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) March 12, 2021
“Look, Jimmy is Jimmy isn’t he? To be honest, I have not spoken to him about it. I can’t say I was that pleased, mind,” continued Blackett, apologising for the initial hesitancy with his answer. “It’s just one of those awkward questions.
“Look, honestly on that one, Jimmy has made the call. He has probably seen all of us when you go to TMOs and you’re spending 20 minutes looking over incidents and he would probably just like speed the game up. It’s something of nothing. Let him take the plaudits for this one. I just want him shouting for when Mala puts one down and he is held up.”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 17, 2021
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