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Chiefs crush Falcons to go top

10 Sep 2011
Chiefs crush Falcons to go top

Exeter recorded their fourth consecutive victory for the first time in Aviva Premiership Rugby in front of a disappointing attendance of just 5,405 at Sandy Park to go top of the embryonic table by a point.

The Chiefs claimed a bonus point as they outscored the Falcons by four tries to two to continue the woes of their visitors, who fell to their ninth defeat in a row and so extended their poorest run in the tournament.

The home side made two changes from the side that opened their second Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign last Saturday with a first ever win over Leicester.

Club captain Tom Hayes replaced the injured James Hanks in the second row alongside Peter Short while Phil Dollman was at full-back in place of Luke Arscott, who had played every minute of Premiership action for the club since their promotion.

For Newcastle, James Fitzpatrick came in at inside side centre to partner Luke Eves while Tim Swinson was in the second row alongside James Hudson, while Alex Tait, who suffered a strained hamstring, was replaced by 20-year-old Tom Catterick.

The Chiefs got the scoreboard ticking after just 90 seconds as right wing Josh Tatupu popped up in midfield to burst through for the opening try with fly-half Ignacio Mieres adding the simple conversion.

Newcastle mounted several attacks coming close to the line but the Chiefs defend stoutly and it was Mieres who increased the lead with a 45-metre penalty after 18 minutes.

With 15 minutes of the half remaining the Falcons worked their way back with Catterick squeezing over at the left corner, though fly-half Jimmy Gopperth was off target from out wide.

Ten minutes later Dollman broke from the halfway line but was tackled on the 22 and, when the move was taken on, the Chiefs were awarded a penalty, which Mieres landed.

The Falcons were quickly back to the other end and were awarded a penalty at the ruck. Gopperth drilled the ball through the uprights but the visitors trailed 13-8 at the break.

Mieres missed a penalty opportunity for the Chiefs after the restart but added the extras when outside centre Sireli Naqelevuki barged through and score under the posts.

The Falcons again put the Chiefs defence under pressure but they stood firm as the game went into the final quarter, unable even to take advantage of a series of scrums close to the line.

With less than five minutes remaining, Matt Jess broke from deep in his own half and sprinted down the touchline before passing inside for Dollman to score under the posts, with Mieres adding the conversion.

The Chiefs then went in search of the bonus-point try but a momentary lack of concentration among the home defence saw Falcons centre James Fitzpatrick score a late consolation try which Gopperth converted.

With time over on the clock the Chiefs kept the ball alive and inside centre Jason Shoemark squeezed in to the corner to round off a near perfect afternoon for the Devon side.

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups

Match Page 2017-18 - Current Standing

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