Chiefs teach Falcons a harsh lesson
September 18, 2010
Tom Johnson scored a try for Exeter
© Getty Images
Exeter secured their second win of the Aviva Premiership season at Sandy Park on Saturday, defeating Newcastle 22-17.
The Falcons scored two tries to the Chiefs' one and it was Gareth Steenson's five penalties - along with one conversion - which made the difference a week after they ran reigning champions Leicester close at Welford Road.
The result will be a bitter pill to swallow for Falcons boss Alan Tait after they opened their account for the season with a rousing home win over Wasps last weekend.
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 sin-binned by referee Greg Garner for a late tackle on the fly-half.
The home side could not capitalise and when the 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 secured 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. The pivot'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.
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