Match Centre: Gallagher Premiership: Exeter Chiefs 25-16 Newcastle Falcons

Scott Sio was one of the try scorer for Exeter Chiefs
Scott Sio was one of the try scorer for Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Chiefs 25-16 Newcastle Falcons, Sandy Park

Exeter Chiefs have moved to the third place in the Gallagher Premiership table as they defeated Newcastle Falcons 25-16 in the 13th round at Sandy Park on Saturday.

This is 13th defeat for Newcastle in as many games as they are languishing at the bottom of the table. They now are without a win in the league since March last year.

Newcastle got off to a brisk start as Ben Stevenson showed great pace and power to score the opening try in the first minute and Brett Connon kicked the conversion to make it 0-7.

The Chiefs responded back 10 minutes later as Greg Fisilau scored following a tap penalty in the right corner but Harvey Skinner missed out on the conversion making it 5-7. As Exeter conceded a penalty inside their 22, Newcastle kicked a three-pointer through Connon extending the lead to five points.

The Falcons were down to 14 players temporarily by the 18th minute when Guy Pepper was sin-binned for not retreating and the Chiefs made use of the numerical advantage with Zack Wimbush scooping on a loose ball to dot down and Scott Sio followed the suit. Skinner missed out on both the conversions as the scoreline became 15-10.

A second penalty kick from Connon reduced the deficit down to two points but Exeter claimed the bonus point at the stroke of half time with Rusi Tuima powering his way over and Hodge kicked the extras making it 22-13 by the end of the opening half.

Newcastle were the quickest to get off the block in the second half with Connon kicking a penalty goal in the 51st minute making it 25-13 following which a kick from Hodge struck the post.

Any chance of Newcastle further narrowing down the gap was hampered with Bryan Byrne sin-binned for killing a ruck near his own line and Hodge kicked his first penalty goal in the 74th minute to seal a nine point victory for Rob Baxter's men.

Team line up:

Exeter: Hodge; John, Wimbush, Hawkins, Woodburn; Skinner, Becconsall; Sio, Yeandle, Iosefa-Scott, Tuima, Pearson, Vermeulen, Capstick, Fisilau.

Reserves: Frost, Southworth, Street, Dunne, Vintcent, Townsend, Haydon-Wood, Rigg

Newcastle: Obatoyinbo; Radwan, Penny, Jennings, Stevenson; Connon, Stuart; Brocklebank, Blamire, Bello, Van der Walt, De Chaves, Lockwood, Pepper, Chick.

Reserves: Byrne, Brantingham, Palframan, Kelly, Cross, Douglas, Hutchinson, Moroni

Widely regarded as the most competitive rugby union league in the can only be the Gallagher Premiership.

The division is becoming more and more exciting as each year passes by so who will be lifting silverware at Twickenham in May?

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