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Flutey: Cut the penalties or Gopperth will punish us

Riki Flutey says that Wasps simply have to reduce their penalty count this weekend or Newcastle's Jimmy Gopperth will make them pay.

Wasps travelled to Sandy Park last weekend where they were beaten 21-11 by Exeter. Though Wasps had made a bright start to that game, they were eventually muscled out by by a physical Exeter side who played a tactically tight game. Flutey says that there are a few key reasons for that defeat.

“There are a couple of obvious things that went wrong last weekend. We couldn’t apply pressure on the opposition because our turnover count was too high and our penalty count was far too high. A lot of those penalties were around the scrum and ruck area and if we cut those out, then we will be able to really punish sides. When you are giving the other side that many chances and that many points it is really hard to apply any sort of pressure.”

“Exeter played a very clinical game in the first half, playing into the wind. They kept the ball for long periods of time and it just boosts what they are doing well when we give them penalties. When we look at it, if we cut most of them out then we would have won that game.”

This weekend Wasps travel to Newcastle to play the Falcons, who, despite being bottom of the table, are always tough on their own turf.

“Newcastle is a very tough place to go and win. I am expecting Newcastle to play a very tight game, and put us under some real pressure. They have a few threats throughout their team and one in particular is a guy who I used to play quite a lot with back in New Zealand is Jimmy Gopperth. He is an excellent player and if we keep making the same mistakes that we have done in the last couple of weeks then he is going to punish us by kicking all of his goals. He is a fantastic kicker, he has a good kicking percentage and we cannot give him or his team that opportunity.”

“We have had a look at some of what they do and though they are losing they have done some pretty impressive stuff at times. They have created some good scoring opportunities when they are inside the opposition’s twenty-two. However, saying that, I am very confident about our defence. A couple of guys lost their concentration last week for a couple of their tries and didn’t stay in our systems, which allowed them to break the line with an offload and score. Newcastle have got a few good players so our defence will have to stand up to that and give us foundation from which to attack.”

“We always look good when we go wide, we have got a lot of threat out there but we are looking at our boys up front to give those guys out wide something to work from. That’s where is all starts. It is their job to give us that platform, to give us that go-forward, so that we can look at opportunities out wide or through the middle of them. We are putting a lot of pressure on our forwards to give us that go-forward, and set us that platform that we need.”

Tickets are still available for the game on Sunday 2nd October. For more information click here.