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Match Report: Exeter Chiefs 20 Newcastle Falcons 17

11 Mar 2018
Match Report: Exeter Chiefs 20 Newcastle Falcons 17

Joe Simmonds scored 15 points to send Exeter Chiefs into a fourth straight Anglo-Welsh Cup Final with a tight victory against Newcastle Falcons.

The Chiefs trailed 17-7 at the break with tries for Kyle Cooper and Simon Hammersley giving Newcastle the advantage at Sandy Park.

But Simmonds converted his own second-half try and then hit a penalty to draw the scores level heading into the final ten minutes.

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Simmonds then kicked a second penalty to put the Chiefs ahead but Newcastle had a chance to level with the final kick of the game – but Joel Hodgson’s effort fell short.

Exeter made a lighting start and took the lead within two minutes as scrum-half Stu Townsend burst through to score and send the home crowd wild.

But Newcastle, with an experienced team on the field, regained their composure to control possession and territory.

Their pressure came off, with Toby Flood calmly converting a penalty and in the 26th minute they moved ahead with hooker Kyle Cooper powered over from close range with Flood converting.

With the momentum with them, Newcastle’s backs started to enjoy themselves – with wingers Sinoti Sinoti and Vereniki Goneva particularly dangerous.

And they cut through the Chiefs for a second try seven minutes after Cooper’s effort, with full-back Hammersley dotting down.

Exeter regrouped at the break and hit back with Simmonds scoring their second try minutes into the second half.

His penalty drew the teams level but Flood missed a golden chance put Newcastle ahead again when he missed a penalty.

Simmonds would not make the same mistake and with four minutes left he kicked the winning points. Hodgson had a chance to level it with the last kick of the game but his kick fell just short.