Premiership: Newcastle Falcons 29-24 Exeter Chiefs
|Newcastle (14) 29|
|Tries: Sinoti, Catterick, Cato Cons: Socino Pens: Socino 4|
|Exeter (15) 24|
|Tries: Waldrom, White, Slade Pens: Steenson 3|
Newcastle ended their 20-match losing streak as they came from behind to clinch a dramatic win against Exeter.
Tries from Thomas Waldrom and Ben White saw Exeter go 10-6 up before Sinoti Sinoti's try put the home side ahead.
Henry Slade's try just before the break and three Gareth Steenson penalties afterwards helped Exeter go 24-17 up with 15 minutes left of the match.
But Tom Catterick and Noah Cato tries secured the win for the Falcons, their first Premiership victory over Exeter.
Newcastle last won a top-flight match on 27 October, 2013 when they at Kingston Park.
It was Newcastle's first win over Exeter in seven attempts, with the Falcons being the only side in the top flight never to have beaten the Chiefs.
|Newcastle's previous losses to Exeter|
|18 Sep 2010: 22-17 (home)|
|18 Feb 2011: 23-13 (away)|
|10 Sep 2011: 32-15 (home)|
|7 Jan 2012: 16-10 (away)|
|21 Dec 2013: 16-3 (home)|
|10 May 2014: 23-13 (away)|
Exeter made a great start as Thomas Waldrom was pushed over for his fourth try of the season as he did his hopes of an England recall no harm.
But Newcastle pegged Exeter back as Juan Pablo Socino kicked two quick penalties.
Exeter made it 10-6 as an ambitious pass by Riki Tipuna was knocked-on and Ian Whitten took advantage, setting up White who got the Chiefs' second try of the day.
But the Falcons reacted quickly as Sinoti went over after some clever work down Exeter's blindside after gathering Will Chudliegh's kick.
Socino kicked another penalty to put Newcastle 14-10 up before Slade went over after Tomos Francis drove the Exeter forwards on from close range right on the stroke of half time, although Gareth Steenson's third missed conversion of the half meant Exeter were only one point up at the break.
Socino kicked a penalty for Newcastle soon after the restart before Steenson's fortunes off the tee changed as he kicked three successive penalties to put Exeter 24-17 ahead with 15 minutes left.
But Newcastle refused to buckle and some powerful running through the heart of Exeter's defence saw Catterick go over with 12 minutes left and Socino's conversion levelled the scores at 24-24.
Then four minutes later the moment that Falcons fans had waited almost a year for arrived as Cato crashed over on the left to score an impressive winner.
Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards:
"We've been playing a good brand of rugby all year, playing a really expansive game and trying to score tries.
"We've been left floundering at times and our defence has probably let us down occasionally. We made a quite a few defensive errors again today, but I'm really delighted for the boys that the losing run is at an end.
"People ask me if is relief that we've won but it's been coming for a while and while I'm still a little frustrated in the way we played today, I am delighted for the players and I thought we deserved it."
Exeter head coach Rob Baxter:
"I thought we were a little bit shoddy at times. I think in the first half we did quite well against the wind but gave away some quite soft penalties which allowed Newcastle to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
"We slipped off a couple of tackles which is something we haven't done this season and fair play to Newcastle they got some confidence and played very well and hung on at the end.
"Rugby is a game where you tend to get what you deserve and Newcastle deserved the win."
Newcastle: Tait, Sinoti, Tiesi, Powell, Cato, Socino, Tipuna, Brookes, Lawson, Wilson; Green, Barrow, M. Wilson, Welch, Hogg.
Replacements: Hawkins, Rogers, Tomaszczyk, Furno, Mayhew, Blair, Clegg, Catterick.
Exeter: Dollman, James, Slade, Whitten, Jess, Steenson, Chudley; Moon, Yeandle, Francis, Armand, Welch, Ewers, White, Waldrom.
Replacements: Taione, Rimmer, Low, Caldwell, Horstmann, Thomas, Hill, Botha.
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth (RFU)