Exeter overcome hat-trick from Kibirige as they manage draw against Newcastle

Zach Kibirige's hat-trick went in vain for Newcastle
Zach Kibirige's hat-trick went in vain for Newcastle

Newcastle Falcons 22-22 Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Chiefs successfully overcame a hat-trick from Zach Kibirige as they managed a 22-22 draw against Newcastle Falcons in the opening round of the Premiership Rugby Cup clash on Sunday.

After the first quarter went without a point, fullback Max Bodilly started the proceedings with a 21st minute try with Harvey Skinner kicking the conversion to make it 0-7.

The response from Newcastle came from former England U20 Kibirige when he went over the line twice in the 26th and 34th minutes with Brett Connon kicking the extras on the first occasion as the teams headed into the break with a 12-7 lead.

The third quarter saw Connon and Skinner trade penalty goals before Kibirige with his third stretched Newcastle's lead to 22-10. As Exeter were up against a 12 point deficit, James Short gave them hope with a 63rd minute try.

Skinner missed the conversion on Short's try but added the extras on the second when Max Bodilly danced over the line as the teams settled for a 22-22 draw - the first in this season of revamped Premiership Rugby Cup.

Both Exeter and Newcastle are at the second place in Pool 1 with two points each while Harlequins hold the top place following their win over Bath Rugby on Saturday.

Premiership Rugby - Points Table