Exeter Chiefs battle past Newcastle Falcons

Exeter Chiefs secured their second victory in the Premiership when they beat Newcastle Falcons 22-17 at Sandy Park.

Fly-half Gareth Steenson booted the Premiership newcomers past the Falcons, who scored two tries to the Chiefs’ one.


But it was Steenson’s five penalties – along with one conversion – which made the difference.

Steenson fired the Chiefs ahead on four minutes with a penalty from the left touchline and the Falcons were reduced to 14 men when flanker Redford Pennycock was sinbinned by referee Greg Garner for a late tackle on Steenson.

The home side could not capitalise and when Falcons were back to full strength quick ball from a scrum enabled Charlie Amesbury to score under the posts with fly-half Jimmy Gopperth adding the extras.

But the Chiefs regained the lead on the half hour as scrum-half Haydn Thomas released impressive flanker Tom Johnson at pace and his try was converted by Steenson.

Gopperth landed a long-range penalty to level the scores at 10-10 but the visitors lost skipper James Hudson to a leg injury minutes before the break.

Chiefs started the second half full of determination and conceded two penalties which Steenson landed for a 16-10 lead.

The Falcons nudged ahead when Luke Eves gave the scoring pass for fellow centre Rob Vickerman to power over the line.

Gopperth converted to make it 17-16 but the Chiefs hit back immediately as Steenson landed his fourth penalty.

Steenson’s next attempt, a couple of minutes later from the other side of the pitch, fell short.

But with five minutes remaining on the clock his fifth penalty, making it 22-17, took the Chiefs within sight of another home victory to follow the scalp of Gloucester.

The Falcons mounted a late assault but could not find a way through a determined home defence.

Final Score Exeter (10) 22 – Newcastle Falcons 17 (10)


Exeter Chiefs
Tries: Johnson
Penalties: Steenson 5
Conversions: Steenson

Newcastle Falcons
Tries:Amesbury, Vickerman
Penalties: Gopperth
Conversions: Gopperth 2

Referee: Greg Garner (7th Premiership game)


Exeter Chiefs 15 Luke Arscott , 14 Nic Sestaret , 13 Phil Dollman , 12 Bryan Rennie , 11 Mark Foster , 10 Gareth Steenson , 9 Haydn Thomas , 1 Brett Sturgess , 2 Neil Clark , 3 Hoani Tui , 4 Tom Hayes (capt) , 5 James Hanks , 6 Tom Johnson , 7 James Scaysbrook , 8 James Phillips

Replacements , 16 Simon Alcott , 17 Ben Moon , 18 Chris Budgen , 19 Dave Gannon , 20 Chad Slade , 21 Junior Poluleuligaga , 22 Ryan Davis , 23 Andrew Higgins

Newcastle Falcons 15 Alex Tait , 14 Gcobani Bobo , 13 Rob Vickerman , 12 Luke Eves , 11 Charlie Amesbury , 10 Jimmy Gopperth , 9 Micky Young,1 Jon Golding , 2 Rob Vickers , 3 Tim Ryan , 4 James Hudson (captain) , 5 Tim Swinson , 6 Brent Wilson , 7 Redford Pennycook , 8 Ally Hogg

Replacements ;16 Kieran Brookes , 17 Micky Ward , 18 Grant Shiells , 19 Glen Townson , 20 Will Welch , 21 Chris Pilgrim , 22 Jeremy Manning , 23 Luke Fielden


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