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Match Reaction: Exeter Chiefs 20 Newcastle Falcons 17

Match Reaction: Exeter Chiefs 20 Newcastle Falcons 17

Exeter Chiefs will contest their fourth straight Anglo-Welsh Cup final when they face Bath Rugby next Sunday after a nervy win against Newcastle Falcons.

Joel Hodgson had the chance to send the match to extra-time with a last-gasp penalty but it fell marginally short at a windy Sandy Park.

Joe Simmonds was the match-winner for Exeter, scoring 15 points in the win while Stu Townsend also crossed.

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MAN OF THE MATCH

His brother Sam may be a fully-fledged England international but Joe Simmonds looks like he has just as much potential after a starring role at Sandy Park.

The fly-half scored 15 of Exeter’s 20 points and held his nerve when it mattered most at the death, nailing the penalty which ultimately won the game.

Simmonds changed the match with his try after the break, while his kicking was accurate throughout – demonstrating that the Exeter production line is still as strong as ever.

TRY OF THE MATCH

Joe Simmonds try just after the break changed the course of the match and gave Exeter a platform from which to build a tough opening 40.

Newcastle took control when Kyle Cooper and Simon Hammersley scored tries but Exeter regrouped at the break and hit back – with Simmonds finishing off a flowing move under the posts to swing the momentum Exeter’s way.

Newcastle battled gamely but Exeter had regained their composure and Simmonds went on to win the match.

WHAT THEY SAID:

Exeter Chiefs skills coach Ricky Pellow: “We talked about what would happen in the week if it did go to extra time but full credit to the guys, we fought hard and stuck it out at the end there.

“We really had to hang on at the end, it was a thrilling finish. They chucked everything at us and any kicker that comes here will know it is windy.

“It was not on Joel’s shoulders, he’s a good kicker and has been playing well this season. We are just glad we got through.

“We know we have a hell of a game next Sunday up at Gloucester. It’s a West Country derby and we are really excited about it.”

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards: “That is life. We were not that accurate today, we were just talking about it in the changing rooms.

“It is probably the worst we have been in terms of accuracy and if you don’t have it then you probably won’t win.

“To be fair to Exeter, they have been in a few more finals and semi-finals than us over the years and we just were not quite at the races which is a shame.”

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