Exeter Chiefs claim top position with 32-24 bonus point win over Newcastle Falcons

Gareth Steenson kicked 12 points for Exeter Chiefs
Gareth Steenson kicked 12 points for Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Chiefs 34-24 Newcastle Falcons, Sandy Park

A dominant first half performance from Exeter Chiefs saw them complete a 34-24 bonus point victory over Newcastle Falcons in their Aviva Premiership encounter at Sandy Park on Saturday.

It was a total domination from the defending champions in the first quarter which saw tries from Nic White (9') and Lachie Turner (20') while fly-half Gareth Steenson slotted both the conversions and a penalty to take an early 17-0 lead.

Newcastle Falcons made a brief comeback with Will Welch and Juan Pablo Socino strolling past the post but Sam Simmonds' touchdown in between the two meant Exeter Chiefs ended the first half with a 24-10 lead.

Falcons suffered a setback early in the second half when Juan Pablo Socino was sin-binned following which Steenson kicked a penalty to restore the 17 point lead for Chiefs.

A desperate effort from Alex Tait when he went past the line in the 57th minute gave the visitors hope but their chances were dented when DTH van der Merwe was yellow-carded at the start of the final quarter that also resulted in a penalty try for Rob Baxter's men, who still maintained their 17 point lead.

Winger Vereniki Goneva provided some respite to the Falcons with a 75th minute try that helped them secure a bonus point as Exeter went on to reach the top of the table with a 10 point victory.

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