London - New Zealand utility back Jimmy Gopperth extended his lead at the top of the English Premiership points scorers charts on Friday as Wasps edged his former club Newcastle 34-30 to go top of the table.
Their bonus point win enabled them to go five points clear of defending champions Saracens, who travel to Leicester on Sunday.
Gopperth, who also enjoyed a successful spell at Irish province Leinster before moving across the Irish Sea to join Wasps, made an immediate impact after coming on at the beginning of the second-half for an injured Danny Cipriani, who had made his mark by scoring a try in the opening period.
Gopperth, 33, went over for a try which he converted to give the visitors the lead after trailing 22-21 at the break with the hosts having burst out from the blocks and scored two early tries to give themselves a 12-0 advantage.
The Kiwi ended the match with a tally of 10 points to take his total for the season to 158.
Wasps, though, managed to quell several Newcastle attacks and keep the scoreboard ticking over in their favour which was just as well as twice in the second-half they were reduced to 14 men because they had a player sin-binned.
The hosts, though, deservedly secured two losing bonus points through Mark Wilson's late try