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Steenson steers Chiefs to another success

18 Sep 2010
Steenson steers Chiefs to another success

Fly-half Gareth Steenson booted Aviva Premiership Rugby newcomers Exeter Chiefs to their second home victory of the campaign against Newcastle Falcons at Sandy Park.

The Falcons scored two tries to the Chiefs' one and it was Steenson's five penalties – along with one conversion – which made the difference.

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 Chiefs' play maker.

The home side could not capitalise and when 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. The Chiefs started the second half full of determination and conceded 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.

Steenson'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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