Premiership: Wasps 25-20 Exeter Chiefs
|Wasps (8) 25|
|Tries: Gopperth, Robson, Taylor Cons: Gopperth 2 Pens: Gopperth 2|
|Exeter (17) 20|
|Tries: Waldrom, Chudley Cons: Slade 2 Pens: Slade 2|
Wasps fought back from 12 points down after half-time to celebrate Danny Cipriani's return to the club with a home win over Exeter Chiefs.
Tries from Thomas Waldrom and Will Chudley, either side of Jimmy Gopperth touching down in the corner, gave 2015-16 finalists Chiefs a deserved lead.
After Henry Slade kicked Exeter into a 20-8 lead, the hosts responded, with Dan Robson and Tommy Taylor crossing.
Gopperth kicked the conversions and added a late penalty to ensure victory.
Hooker Taylor, making his Wasps debut, shone throughout and his decisive second-half try, coming from a driving maul, epitomised the hosts' superior strength in the pack in the latter stages.
Chiefs, who begin the season without inured England wing Jack Nowell, had enjoyed three victories over Wasps last term, including a semi-final victory on their way to Twickenham.
An industrious Slade helped them build a half-time lead, but Wasps - who were without eight injured first-team players - were worthy winners by the end.
Cipriani was the headline act at the Ricoh on his return to the club after four years at Sale and two years in Australia, and impressed with his skill with the ball in hand, but it was Gopperth's clinical kicking that secured the opening-weekend win.
Wasps director of rugby Dai Young: "Danny (Cipriani) was a little bit frustrated in the first half, because he didn't have the options.
"But for his first hit-up back in the Wasps jersey, I think he can be pretty pleased. He did pretty well.
"It was certainly a game of two halves. The first half, we were disappointed with our work-rate, and we kicked the ball away far too many times."
Exeter head coach Rob Baxter: "Overall, the way I would look at it is we have put in a pretty good base-line with our first performance.
"The guys needed a really tough game to get the legs and the lungs going. We are up and running now. Of course, I would have liked to have won. Am I hugely disappointed with the performance? No.
"There were a few frustrating elements there, but nothing that we can't put right very quickly."
Wasps: Miller; Wade, Daly, Gopperth, Bassett; Cipriani, Robson; Mullan, Taylor, Swainston, Launchbury (capt), Gaskell, Jones, Thompson, Hughes.
Replacements: Johnson, McIntyre, Moore, Symons, Rieder, Simpson, Macken, Halai.
Exeter Chiefs: Dollman; Woodburn, Devoto, Hill, Whitten; Slade, Chudley; Moon, Cowan-Dickie, Williams, Lees, Welch, Armand (capt), Salvi, Waldrom.
Replacements: Yeandle, Hepburn, Holmes, Parling, Dennis, Lewis, Steenson, Short.