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Exeter

  • Thomas,
    Penalty goals: Steenson (3),
    Conversions: Steenson ,
16 - 3

Newcastle


  • Penalty goals: Godman,
  • Aviva Premiership
  • 21st Dec 2013
  • KO 15:00
  • Ground: Sandy Park
  • Att: 7,000

Aviva Premiership: Exeter beat Newcastle to end losing run

Last updated: 21st December 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Gavin Steenson Exeter Chiefs Aviva Premiership Rugby union

Gareth Steenson: Exeter stand-off kicked three penalties and a conversion

Jack Nowell Exeter Chiefs Rugby union Sandy Park Aviva Premiership

Jack Nowell: Exeter wing tries to make some forward progress

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Exeter Chiefs remained in the hunt for a top-six Aviva Premiership finish with a 16-3 win against Newcastle Falcons at Sandy Park.

The Chiefs looked to be taking a 9-0 lead into the break after fly-half Gareth Steenson, with the wind at his back, landed three penalties - but on the stroke of half-time his opposite Phil Godman pulled back three points for the visitors.

Hayden Thomas crossed for the only try of the game on 51 minutes and Steenson added the simple conversion for the only points of the second half.

Exeter went into this match having lost their last five contests in all tournaments, including at home against Saracens in the Aviva Premiership and Toulon in the Heineken Cup.

Changes

The Chiefs made a handful of changes to their starting line-up with Damian Welch, Ben White and Kai Horstmann all returning in the pack and Steenson returning after injury at fly-half with Sam Hill in the centre.

Newcastle beat Italian outfit Calvisano home and away over the last two weekends in the Amlin Challenge Cup but have not been victorious in the Premiership since London Irish visited Kingston Park on November 10.

The return of Scotland scrum-half Mike Blair was one of six changes made by the Falcons, with Danny Barnes in the centre and Ryan Shortland on the wing. In the pack Kieran Brookes was tighthead prop, Carlo del Fava at lock and Ally Hogg at number eight.

The first points came when scrum-half Thomas had the ball knocked from his grasp at the back of a ruck and fly-half Steenson slotted the ball between the sticks.

The Chiefs maintained the pressure with the referee playing advantage but play was pulled back when the touch judge noticed a high tackle from outside centre Danny Barnes on Thomas and Steenson landed his second penalty.

The Chiefs defence was tested as they halted a catch and drive on the line. When the home side mounted a counter-attack through Jack Nowell, the wing was shoulder charged by Barnes when chasing his kick ahead, allowing Steenson to kick his third penalty.

Discussion

With his side trailing 9-0 and unable to breach the Chiefs defence, Falcons' director of rugby Dean Richards was down at pitchside very early for half-time to question some of the decisions of referee Greg Garner with the fourth official.

Dave Ewers was penalised for not releasing at the tackle and Scottish international Godman reduced the arrears at the break with what proved to be the visitors' only points.

Steenson had an opportunity to restore a nine-point advantage - but his 25-metre penalty attempt was held up by the strong wind and the ball fell short.

However, the home side continued to pin the visitors back in front of a crowd of 8,955.

Then came the decisive moment of the second half, when Thomas dummied and found a gap to score the first try of the game, with Steenson able to add the extra two points.

The Falcons came back into the game but their efforts to claim a losing bonus point came to nothing again due to unforced errors and a strong Chiefs defence.

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Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Sunday 21st December
Aviva Premiership
14:00Wasps vs London Irish
Friday 26th December
15:00London Irish vs London Welsh
Saturday 27th December
14:00Bath vs Exeter
14:00Sale vs Leicester
15:00Newcastle vs Saracens
16:30Harlequins vs Northampton
Sunday 28th December
14:30Gloucester vs Wasps
Friday 2nd January
19:45Northampton vs Newcastle Falcons
Saturday 3rd January
14:00Saracens vs London Irish
16:30Exeter vs Gloucester
Sunday 4th January
14:00Wasps vs Sale
14:00Leicester Tigers vs Bath
14:30London Welsh vs Harlequins
Friday 9th January
19:45Gloucester vs Saracens
Saturday 10th January
14:00Sale vs Northampton
15:00Bath vs Wasps
15:15Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers
Sunday 11th January
14:00Newcastle Falcons vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Exeter
Saturday 14th February
15:00Leicester vs Gloucester
15:00Northampton vs London Irish
15:00Exeter vs Newcastle
Sunday 15th February
14:00Wasps vs Harlequins
14:30London Welsh vs Sale
15:00Saracens vs Bath

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