Jimmy Gopperth



  • Came up in the Lions thread, he's now with Wasps & playing very well... probably one of the top 5 NZ signings of the last few years (with Evans, Reihana etc). Interview from the Telegraph -

    Jimmy Gopperth happy as the unsung hero in Wasps' unbeaten start to the season

    Mick Cleary, Rugby Union Correspondent

    13 September 2016 • 8:49pm

    Jimmy Gopperth may lack the celebrity profile of Wasps team-mates such as Danny Cipriani and Kurtley Beale but the New Zealand-born fly-half is proving to be the star turn. Gopperth, shunted to inside-centre to cover for injuries, has been a standout performer in Wasps’ unbeaten start to the season with two tries and 34 points in the victories over Exeter and Leicester. The understated man has become the highly rated one, the MVP of this early Premiership campaign.

    As befits a down-to-earth Kiwi from beachside Pihama in South Taranaki, the well-travelled Gopperth, whose surfboards are gathering dust in Coventry following his many wet-suited excursions in the North Sea during his four years at Newcastle, has no concerns about the more well-known of the Wasps’ squad claiming more of the limelight than he does. He does, however, insist that he has his eyes on making a claim to the starting No 10 shirt once injuries to centres Kyle Eastmond and Beale clear up.

    “Every player wants to start, that’s a given,” said Gopperth, now in his second year at Wasps following his switch from Leinster. “It will be a battle for the shirt once we’re all fit. It’s up to us all to put our best foot forward and give the coaches the headache. It doesn’t rankle with me in the slightest that others might get more headlines. I get more pleasure in helping a team-mate score, making them look good or whatever, than I do seeing my name in the headlines.”

    Gopperth, 33, top Premiership points scorer in his first two years at Newcastle, has had a complete sea-change in his view of the English game since arriving here in 2009. “The perception was that it was a lot slower, the skill levels weren’t great, that it was physical and the weather as well as the surfaces were not that great either,” said Gopperth, once a Junior All Black who packed his bags in his mid-twenties when he saw the line of fly-halves in front of him, topped by Dan Carter. “There has been a massive change in my outlook, particularly since coming back here from Leinster. The standard in the Premiership has gone through the roof. There’s been a big shift in attitude, more of a desire to use the ball, play wide, score tries, put your skills out there. The league is still relentless and the toughest in the world in that regard. But there’s a lot of great rugby on show now.”

    As Gopperth himself is proving in the unfamiliar guise of a No 12, a position he last played as a starter back at the Junior World Cup in 2001, might is no longer the only right. Size still does have a part to play but Gopperth is no giant in the mould of a Ma’a Nonu or Jamie Roberts.

    "It will be a battle for the shirt once we’re all fit. It’s up to us all to put our best foot forward and give the coaches the headache"Jimmy Gopperth

    “Of course you need to gets stuck into contact, make your tackles and all that, but it is not the only way to have a presence in midfield,” said Gopperth. “It’s no longer all crash-ball. It is about finding space and exploiting it. The inside centre is a second receiver, the second fly-half, able to kick and pass.”

    Gopperth has an exemplary all-round game. He showed pace, balance and awareness in the mould of a Rory Underwood when skinning the Exeter defence for a try and then straightforward nous to get on the end of a driving maul last weekend. He is going well and Wasps are sitting pretty, already the only discernible challengers to Saracens.

    “We can’t beat about the bush, we know there are expectations of us out there,” said Gopperth. “But it’s about being consistent, about not going well one week and getting battered the next. That’s the way you give yourself a chance, a shot at the trophies.” As the model of consistency, Gopperth is setting just the right example.



  • I'm happy for him. He got pretty shit treatment from the fans at Leinster.



  • @Billy-Tell said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    I'm happy for him. He got pretty shit treatment from the fans at Leinster.

    I missed that, hadn't even twigged he'd left Newcastle till this season. What happened? Was he brought in to replace Sexton who had pissed off to France?



  • @gollum yeah i think so. It was s Schmidt choice before he moved to the Ireland gig. Local hero Madigan was supposed to step up with jimmy providing bench support. Turned out Jimmy was a tad better than Madigan and the roles were reversed. Leinster fans, some of them, just had it in for him after that. I went to a few Leinster games when I was living in Dublin and there was some fair shit thrown jimmys way.



  • Have been really pleased that sponge-bob square shoulders has gone so well in the UK. Really good player and always came across as a solid team man and GC.

    Bit sad he didn't get better treatment at Leinster, wasn't he a big part of them doing well/better?? Guess that position as coming in and bumping a local guy adds a bit of tension for fans.



  • He's the Jeetan Patel of rugby.



  • hmmm wonder if that does him a disservice though NQ? Don't know how JG would have gone at international level but anything below he's done well.



  • @No-Quarter said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    He's the Jeetan Patel of rugby.

    Although the national selectors never came knocking on Jimmy's door.....



  • @ACT-Crusader he did manage a game or two for the jr abs didn't he?



  • Yep, the article says he did...a quick check of his Wiki page says he got 1 cap in 2004-2005...?

    I guess he'd likely have been picked for England if he hadnt?



  • I thought as long as it wasn't a full cap anyone was fair game, ie Riki Flutey playing for the Maori then playing for England.



  • nah, JABs are our 2nd team, capped for them, 1 min or 50 mins, you are tied to NZ...

    Maori caps dont count for eligibility.



  • @jegga he did. @taniwharugby it was more 2006ish I think. The days when Henry was selecting massive AB squads and then the JABs were also running around.

    I guess the comparison with Jeets is that the Blackcaps wanted Jeets to tour as a front line spinner but he chose to stay in the UK. Fair play to him as he was already settled in for Warwickshire at the time.



  • @ACT-Crusader I did say it was Wiki 🙂



  • @Billy-Tell said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    @gollum yeah i think so. It was s Schmidt choice before he moved to the Ireland gig. Local hero Madigan was supposed to step up with jimmy providing bench support. Turned out Jimmy was a tad better than Madigan and the roles were reversed. Leinster fans, some of them, just had it in for him after that. I went to a few Leinster games when I was living in Dublin and there was some fair shit thrown jimmys way.

    Another reason why Ireland are my hatiest team



  • @TeWaio said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    @Billy-Tell said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    @gollum yeah i think so. It was s Schmidt choice before he moved to the Ireland gig. Local hero Madigan was supposed to step up with jimmy providing bench support. Turned out Jimmy was a tad better than Madigan and the roles were reversed. Leinster fans, some of them, just had it in for him after that. I went to a few Leinster games when I was living in Dublin and there was some fair shit thrown jimmys way.

    Another reason why Ireland are my hatiest team

    Reason #367(and counting ) for me, how about you.



  • Almost certain Gopperth played in the 2005 probables vs possibles game?

    Always thought he was pretty average and should have been moved past by the Canes earlier but it's mighty impressive to have a run at the not-quite-the-top-but-the-top-the-rung-below for this long despite his limitations.

    You look at guys like Donald and Brett with similar limitations and they couldn't be difference makers up north.

    Evans could but he was an actual talent.



  • @Billy-Tell said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    @gollum yeah i think so. It was s Schmidt choice before he moved to the Ireland gig. Local hero Madigan was supposed to step up with jimmy providing bench support. Turned out Jimmy was a tad better than Madigan and the roles were reversed. Leinster fans, some of them, just had it in for him after that. I went to a few Leinster games when I was living in Dublin and there was some fair shit thrown jimmys way.

    You're correct in that Madigan was supposed to be the Leinster no1 but Matt O'Connor had other ideas. Going against the IRFU, Matt O'Connor didn't last long before he got the sack.

    Leinster fans didn't take to Gopperth because he was - how should I describe it - a bit robotic. I don't think he was treated badly though.



  • @profitius

    I think Madigan was one of the most over-rated players for a while there. He had one very good Pro 12 season, and after that he was seen as the next big thing. It never materialised, but Leinster fans were still clinging to the dream when Gopperth arrived. Interestingly the next big flyhalf-hope for Leinster is also Kiwi-born (Joey Carbery)...but I'll be fair and point out to Irish parents.



  • @rotated said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    Almost certain Gopperth played in the 2005 probables vs possibles game?

    Always thought he was pretty average and should have been moved past by the Canes earlier but it's mighty impressive to have a run at the not-quite-the-top-but-the-top-the-rung-below for this long despite his limitations.

    You look at guys like Donald and Brett with similar limitations and they couldn't be difference makers up north.

    Evans could but he was an actual talent.

    I do recall him getting a run in that game. That was a cast of thousands and I remember on the fern, back when the masses would fire up about selections, there was plenty of "outrage" at some of the players that made it. Here are the team lists

    Probables
    Anesi, Howlett, Laulala, Mapusua, Sivivatu, Evans, Kelleher, Bates (c), Newby, Lauaki, A Williams, Ryan, Johnstone, Witcombe, Woodcock

    Bench players used - So'oialo, Mehrtens, Mika, Dermody, Cowan

    Possibles
    Atiga, Hamilton, Smith, Nonu, Ward, Donald, Devine, N Williams, Blackie, Masoe, O'Neill, Donnelly, Afoa, Hore (c), Taumoepeau

    Bench players used - Tu'ipolotu, Gopperth, Nutbrown, B Williams, Kopelani



  • @rotated said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    Almost certain Gopperth played in the 2005 probables vs possibles game?

    Always thought he was pretty average and should have been moved past by the Canes earlier but it's mighty impressive to have a run at the not-quite-the-top-but-the-top-the-rung-below for this long despite his limitations.

    You look at guys like Donald and Brett with similar limitations and they couldn't be difference makers up north.

    Evans could but he was an actual talent.

    Yeah, Donald is a Saint on here but he was woeful at Bath, in contrast the far more maligned Gopperth & Glen Jackson have been 2 of the top first fives in the Prem during their time. Heaviliy in demand & really well paid - thats a pretty solid guide to how well guys are going.

    Folks will try make that a dig at the prem, but in that case why was Donald not able to impose himself? Piri was shithouse too, but lets face it, he was only in it to sample the different countries flavours of KFC.



  • @gollum One of the U.K press called David Howell the best out half in Europe in about 2008 . I never saw him play there but that's pretty high praise for someone who didn't make it further than nza .
    I didn't realise Donald didn't go that well in the Nh .



  • I remember someone (Billy Tell? Stargazer?) warning us not to expect much from Donald's NZ return because he hadn't done well up north but then he came back and was awesome for the Chiefs (when fit).

    Seems like Gopperth's style of play just really suits NH rugby, while Donald's didn't? And the opposite was true at Super level?



  • @jegga said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    @gollum One of the U.K press called David Howell the best out half in Europe in about 2008 . I never saw him play there but that's pretty high praise for someone who didn't make it further than nza .
    I didn't realise Donald didn't go that well in the Nh .

    Who? I genuinely haven't heard of him

    Players performances after moving north can be fairly hard to predict. Don't think that anyone would argue that Super Rugby is a higher level, but some of the demands are different.

    Donald obviously an example of someone who was pretty underwhelming, where as guys like Waldrom have had a ball up here. Follow London Irish myself and imports from NZ have ranged from the fairly poor (Chris Noakes), to solid but not certainly not stand out (B Franks, Bryn Evans, Maitland, Tikoirotuma) to outstanding (Dermody, Mapusua, S Tagicakibau)



  • @Margin_Walker David Holwell



  • Ah, of course. Cheers. Don't think he ever made that much of an impression, although I guess people write all sorts in the press from the last televised game.



  • @jegga said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    I didn't realise Donald didn't go that well in the Nh .

    It was odd as he should have been ideal great defender, very good goal kicker, able to cover 12. He had all the makings of a solid Prem player, but they had moved towards a more attacking backline & he just couldn't set the backline away, stifled a lot of attack.

    I think there is probably an element of the way the ball is recyled north v south. In the north the way the breakdown is reff'd taking it to the line & getting tackled can totally kill an attack as the ref's allow the ball to be contested (ie slowed down) more, In super rugby you take it to the line & get tackled the 9 has the ball away half a second later.

    So Donalds "strength" in super rugby killed the backplay in the Prem.

    George Ford in contrast (baths next 10) is basically Cruden.

    Didn't help that Donald was fat as a house too -

    http://www.therugbypaper.co.uk/featured-post/26210/i-was-a-fat-arse-at-bath-admits-stephen-donald/

    “But I struggled in the Premiership, it simply wasn’t my style of rugby. To be fair I came over after we’d won the World Cup and found myself thrown into the English winter. “At times I battled for motivation. That’s probably why I put on about 10kgs and was a bit of a fat-arse over there.”



  • @Billy-Tell said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    @profitius

    I think Madigan was one of the most over-rated players for a while there. He had one very good Pro 12 season, and after that he was seen as the next big thing. It never materialised, but Leinster fans were still clinging to the dream when Gopperth arrived. Interestingly the next big flyhalf-hope for Leinster is also Kiwi-born (Joey Carbery)...but I'll be fair and point out to Irish parents.

    Yeah Madigan is overrated. He is a 90% kicker, a good runner, has a good pass etc but like a lot of young players like that, he doesn't have the brain to be a top class 10. He is doing well in France now which is his level.

    Carbery is a terrific talent who has made a few mistakes in his 2 games but genuinely looks a level above Paddy Jackson already and probably Sexton too. Moved to Ireland when he was 12 so thanks to NZ for his early development but hands off! lol



  • @profitius said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    @Billy-Tell said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    @profitius

    I think Madigan was one of the most over-rated players for a while there. He had one very good Pro 12 season, and after that he was seen as the next big thing. It never materialised, but Leinster fans were still clinging to the dream when Gopperth arrived. Interestingly the next big flyhalf-hope for Leinster is also Kiwi-born (Joey Carbery)...but I'll be fair and point out to Irish parents.

    Yeah Madigan is overrated. He is a 90% kicker, a good runner, has a good pass etc but like a lot of young players like that, he doesn't have the brain to be a top class 10. He is doing well in France now which is his level.

    Carbery is a terrific talent who has made a few mistakes in his 2 games but genuinely looks a level above Paddy Jackson already and probably Sexton too. Moved to Ireland when he was 12 so thanks to NZ for his early development but hands off! lol

    I was wondering when Carberry's name was going to come up in discussion and the land of his birth. I didn't know his parents were Irish, but just thought the father moved here for work to Athy when young Joey was 12. Did the usual mix of sports then discovered best at rugby and ended up moving to Blackrock College to finish his schooling and develop his talent. He's only in second year Academy, so he's doing well to start his third league game on the trot.

    If the Nucifora edict about investment in academy structures and better monitoring of lower club talent and development of younger players instead of buying ' furriners', starts to bear fruit, the next few years will be interesting.



  • @Margin_Walker It was that arseclown Barnes that said it a fair old while ago now though.

    http://rec.sport.rugby.union.narkive.com/1sUnwMSi/the-simple-art-of-rugby-when-a-classically-trained-new-zealander-runs-the-show

    David Holwell, the former Wellington Hurricane now a Leinster player, is
    quietly cementing his position as the most influential fly-half in the
    Heineken Cup.

    Sure, Stephen Jones and Charlie Hodgson are not playing in this tournament
    and Jonny Wilkinson is sidelined, but could anyone imagine, say, Andy Goode,
    a very decent English fly-half, exerting such authority on the Super 12?

    Not a chance. Many of the British international threequarters would struggle
    for a Super 12 contract in New Zealand because British skill levels behind
    the scrum are feeble in comparison. Holwell, uncapped, is quietly
    galvanising an exciting and accurate Leinster back line with nothing
    flashier than pure technique.



  • @jegga Great Find. That's pretty typical Barnes to be honest. Complete tool, massively influence by a player having a few good games that he's commentated on (badly). Holwell didn't make any lasting influence on NH rugby at 10. Nick Evans certainly did and to a lesser extent Gopperth.

    He's also the bloke that said Andy Saul would be the future of England seven play and the Matt 'Conrad' Hopper was the answer to all all England's midfield problems

    Don't blame you if you've not heard of either



  • @Margin_Walker

    He's always struck me as a babbling moron and I was quite disappointed to see he was the author of the article when I searched it up. It would have carried some weight if it was written by somebody who opinions people respected. Manny Edmonds was another one who did well in the north , I don't recall him doing much of note for Australia but the game must have suited him there.



  • @Pot-Hale said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    @profitius said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    @Billy-Tell said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    @profitius

    I think Madigan was one of the most over-rated players for a while there. He had one very good Pro 12 season, and after that he was seen as the next big thing. It never materialised, but Leinster fans were still clinging to the dream when Gopperth arrived. Interestingly the next big flyhalf-hope for Leinster is also Kiwi-born (Joey Carbery)...but I'll be fair and point out to Irish parents.

    Yeah Madigan is overrated. He is a 90% kicker, a good runner, has a good pass etc but like a lot of young players like that, he doesn't have the brain to be a top class 10. He is doing well in France now which is his level.

    Carbery is a terrific talent who has made a few mistakes in his 2 games but genuinely looks a level above Paddy Jackson already and probably Sexton too. Moved to Ireland when he was 12 so thanks to NZ for his early development but hands off! lol

    I was wondering when Carberry's name was going to come up in discussion and the land of his birth. I didn't know his parents were Irish, but just thought the father moved here for work to Athy when young Joey was 12. Did the usual mix of sports then discovered best at rugby and ended up moving to Blackrock College to finish his schooling and develop his talent. He's only in second year Academy, so he's doing well to start his third league game on the trot.

    If the Nucifora edict about investment in academy structures and better monitoring of lower club talent and development of younger players instead of buying ' furriners', starts to bear fruit, the next few years will be interesting.

    Wait, what?



  • @jegga said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    @Pot-Hale said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    @profitius said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    @Billy-Tell said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    @profitius

    I think Madigan was one of the most over-rated players for a while there. He had one very good Pro 12 season, and after that he was seen as the next big thing. It never materialised, but Leinster fans were still clinging to the dream when Gopperth arrived. Interestingly the next big flyhalf-hope for Leinster is also Kiwi-born (Joey Carbery)...but I'll be fair and point out to Irish parents.

    Yeah Madigan is overrated. He is a 90% kicker, a good runner, has a good pass etc but like a lot of young players like that, he doesn't have the brain to be a top class 10. He is doing well in France now which is his level.

    Carbery is a terrific talent who has made a few mistakes in his 2 games but genuinely looks a level above Paddy Jackson already and probably Sexton too. Moved to Ireland when he was 12 so thanks to NZ for his early development but hands off! lol

    I was wondering when Carberry's name was going to come up in discussion and the land of his birth. I didn't know his parents were Irish, but just thought the father moved here for work to Athy when young Joey was 12. Did the usual mix of sports then discovered best at rugby and ended up moving to Blackrock College to finish his schooling and develop his talent. He's only in second year Academy, so he's doing well to start his third league game on the trot.

    If the Nucifora edict about investment in academy structures and better monitoring of lower club talent and development of younger players instead of buying ' furriners', starts to bear fruit, the next few years will be interesting.

    Wait, what?

    Nucifora has tightened the purse strings and said to provinces to develop academy players instead. Lam has been plumbing the club level players for the last two years and selecting them for his squad given the restricted budget he has to work to. Munster are now being told the same thing. Leinster, have been doing it. Browne, IRFU CEO, said at the launch of their annual report during the summer that the days of spending money on lots of foreign NIE players was over. For the future, the IRFU plans to invest monies into development of the academies and local/domestic talent instead.

    http://www.irishrugby.ie/news/37758.php#.V9yL7VcY8_V
    Extract: **Browne believes that although there is some scope for the provinces to increase gate receipts revenue, this will not be sufficient in bridging the gap with their English and French counterparts and the revenue generated by the IRFU through the international game is already largely contracted out for the next number of years.

    "It is becoming increasingly clear that the professional game in Ireland can no longer rely on the IRFU being the 'lender of last resort' as the IRFU no longer has the capacity to absorb the increasing cost of the professional game as Irish Rugby struggles to respond to the inflating player market in England and France.
    "The risks to the Irish professional game are potentially profound and one of the key mitigation strategies is to invest in our pathway to develop better quality players more quickly through a more effective pathway - a key element of the new High Performance strategy," he added.

    IRFU Honorary Treasurer Tom Grace said: "The Union's response to inflation in player remuneration driven by the increased revenues available to French and English clubs is to increase the player funding going forward for the provinces but more significantly to invest greater amounts into our player development pathways from the grassroots game upwards.
    "In our budget for 2015/16 an additional €3.2m was allocated to elite player development and €800,000 to the domestic game. In 2016/17 we will enhance the domestic game investment by a further €1.2m. It is the view of the Union that these investments in our game represent the most effective way forward for the Union given the financial constraints under which we operate. This brings the total investment in grassroots rugby to over €10m, representing a 23% increase in domestic game budget since 2015."**

    We'll see how it goes.

    Munster's first game of the season had 14 players who came from their academies starting the match.
    Then, a couple of weeks ago, there was a big brouhaha over Nucifora's decision that Pienaar's contract with Ulster would not be renewed at end of this season with Ulster being told to develop local players instead. Ulster fans not happy. And some players have said it does not send a great message about any future recruitments of NIE players.

    The initial objective of the Player Succession Strategy was have a minimum of two test quality players in every position across the provinces. Restrictions were set in 2012 with number of foreign players reduced from 6 to 5. This is now likely to reduce to four. NIE contracts cannot be renewed. And there can only be one NIE in every playing position. Apparently, Nucifora/Schmidt are setting a target of having 3 test quality players in every position to prepare properly for the next RWC that he's now signed up for.

    It remains to be seen whether Nucifora will also cancel the project player programme completely, depending on the success of the domestic pathway development.



  • Pot, it's interesting to see how much younger the average player is these days. In the last 2 years Munster and Leinster are after having big clear outs of squad players. Anyone who is over a certain age and doesn't play much when fit is gone. That's happened at an accelerated rate since Nucifora came in.

    I'd say the IRFU and Nucifora have abandoned competing for the champions cup for the short to concentrate on making Ireland stronger.

    @Margin_Walker said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    @jegga Great Find. That's pretty typical Barnes to be honest. Complete tool, massively influence by a player having a few good games that he's commentated on (badly). Holwell didn't make any lasting influence on NH rugby at 10. Nick Evans certainly did and to a lesser extent Gopperth.

    He's also the bloke that said Andy Saul would be the future of England seven play and the Matt 'Conrad' Hopper was the answer to all all England's midfield problems

    Don't blame you if you've not heard of either

    Howell was very good for Leinster when he was there. He was a fan favourite and indeed was among the best 10s in Europe at the time. He was certainly a better player than Gopperth. He only stayed a year or two before going back to NZ so people might forget about him.



  • @profitius said in Jimmy Gopperth:

    Pot, it's interesting to see how much younger the average player is these days. In the last 2 years Munster and Leinster are after having big clear outs of squad players. Anyone who is over a certain age and doesn't play much when fit is gone. That's happened at an accelerated rate since Nucifora came in.

    I'd say the IRFU and Nucifora have abandoned competing for the champions cup for the short to concentrate on making Ireland stronger.

    Yeah, that's becoming apparent, and Connacht is going the same way.

    Ulster seem to be the odd man out in managing to get dispensations from the rules from time to time. I think they have 7 NIE/NIQ players on the books currently although one is only a short-term injury replacement.

    I hope that Nucifora closes the door more on the project players, although I don't know whether it would be illegal to put a formal block on uncapped non-Irish players in place. Probably not as it would have to be age-related too.

    IRFU are pushing strongly for change to the PRO12 financial structures and what they can deliver themselves, without further investment/bailout by the union a la Munster this year. I think that they may have to go down the NZRU route and involve private sector in part-ownership of the provinces in some way. Remains to be seen whether there is interest though.


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