Premiership: Exeter Chiefs 34-24 Newcastle Falcons

Lachlan Turner
Lachlan Turner scored one of three first-half Exeter tries
Aviva Premiership
Exeter Chiefs (24) 34
Tries: White, Turner, Simmonds, Penalty Cons: Steenson 3 Pens: Steenson 2
Newcastle Falcons (10) 24
Tries: Welch, Socino, Tait, Goneva Cons: Flood 2

Exeter Chiefs returned to the top of the Premiership table, extending their unbeaten home run to 11 matches with a bonus-point victory over Newcastle.

Scrum-half Nic White, full-back Lachlan Turner and the returning Sam Simmonds scored to build a 24-10 half-time lead.

A penalty try confirmed the champions' bonus point in the second half.

Newcastle were largely chasing the game throughout, but tries from Will Welch, Juan-Pablo Socino, Alex Tait and Vereniki Goneva earned a bonus point.

It was only a second defeat of the season for Newcastle, who played a man down for half of the second half after yellow cards for Juan Pablo Socino and DTH van der Merwe. But they stay in the top four heading into the start of the European competitions.

Exeter, who beat Wasps to lift their first top-flight crown in May, easily bounced back from last week's defeat at Leicester on their return to Sandy Park.

Olly Woodburn gave them a bright start with a break down the left that resulted in a penalty and White scored off the back of the subsequent line-out.

White then combined with Simmonds to send Turner over, before Simmonds scored the try of the match, beating three defenders to find the line from 20 metres out.

Exeter Chiefs forwards coach Rob Hunter:

"Despite our two losses, we have been in pretty good shape as we have had six difficult opening games. We've taken at least a bonus point in each of them and the league is very competitive.

"There is a long way to go but it's far easier to be up there than trying to force your way up the table and into a top-four position."

"We conceded a couple of soft tries and shouldn't have given away a bonus point to another top-four side. We didn't score when they had men in the bin but it sometimes works that way as the opposition tighten up."

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards:

"We were inaccurate at times, we didn't stick to script and as a result we gave them a huge amount of opportunities - especially in the first half.

"It was a bit of an odd game because you come here expecting the ball-in-play time to be right up there but it was quite low today.

That's a bit strange for an Exeter game and we felt there was more out there for us."

Exeter Chiefs: Turner; Nowell, Slade, Whitten, Woodburn; Steenson, White; Rimmer, Yeandle (capt), Williams, Lees, Hill, Skinner, Armand, Simmonds.

Replacements: Taione, Moon, Francis, Atkins, Salvi, Townsend, Hendrickson, Dollman.

Newcastle Falcons: Tait; Van der Merwe, Harris, JP Socino, Goneva; Willis, Takulua; Davison, S Socino, Welsh, Green, Witty, M Wilson, Welch (capt), Latu.

Replacements: Cooper, Vickers, Ilnicki, Robinson, Hogg, Stuart, Flood, Matavesi.

Sin bin: JP Socino (42), Van der Merwe (63).

Referee: Andrew Jackson.

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