Exeter Chiefs moved into second place in the Premiership with a 36-14 bonus point win over Newcastle Falcons at Sandy Park.
Tries from James Short (2), Harry Williams and Thomas Waldrom opened up a significant lead, before Sam Skinner’s score completed the 36-14 win.
Newcastle did find first half replies through Vereniki Goneva and Rob Vickers to ensure in remained a close encounter until midway through the second half.
A fast start to the game saw the Falcons take an early lead in their longest away trip of the season, when wing Goneva continued his impressive form by bullying his way over in the corner, allowing Sonatane Takulua to open his account from the tee.
Exeter found a reply on the counter attack before the 15-minute mark though, when wing Short ran it home from 80 metres out when it was looking like the visitors would extend their lead.
Young fly-half Joe Simmonds opened his account to bring the sides level.
It didn’t take long for Newcastle to regain their lead though, when a scintillating break from Callum Chick, who showed the footwork of an accomplished wing rather than that of a flanker, provided the perfect platform for Vickers to burrow over from all of half a metre out. Takulua added another to his tally.
Tighthead prop Williams was next to dot down having been helped over the line by his fellow forwards, who overpowered the Newcastle defence.
Simmonds’ conversion made it all square, before he added a penalty to give the Chiefs a three-point lead at the break.
A slow burning start to the second half saw both sides go close, but it was Exeter who would score the next try in typical Waldrom fashion, with the number eight carrying over from the back of a maul. Simmonds’ conversion took the home side ten points clear.
Newcastle were looking to play out from the back when Fred Burdon knocked on, allowing Exeter to regain possession five metres from the line.
It was the young Skinner who profited from Falcons’ mistake, carrying over to secure the try scoring bonus point for his side.
Simmonds continued his impressive display for tee to make it 31-14 after 73 minutes, a lead that Exeter would see out until the end of the game.
Time was up when the Chiefs regained possession but rather than kicking in to touch, Will Hooley opted to slot a grubber kick through the Falcons’ defence, allowing wing Short to score his second of the game, which remained unconverted.
Tries: Short 2, Williams, Penalty Try, Skinner
Cons: Simmonds 4
Tries: Goneva, Vickers
Cons: Takulua 2
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 James Short, 10 Joe Simmonds, 9 Jack Maunder, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Don Armand, 6 Kai Horstmann, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Jack Yeandle (c), 1 Ben Moon
Replacements: 16 Shaun Malton, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Moray Low, 19 Sam Skinner, 20 Ollie Atkins, 21 Stuart Townsend, 22 Will Hooley, 23 Sam Hill
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Dominic Waldouck, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Sonatane Takulua, 8 Nili Latu, 7 Will Welch (c), 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Evan Olmstead, 4 Calum Green, 3 Scott Wilson, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Rob Vickers
Replacements: 16 Ben Sowrey, 17 Ben Harris, 18 David Wilson, 19 Glen Young, 20 Callum Chick, 21 Sam Egerton, 22 Mike Delany, 23 Fred Burdon
Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant Referees: Jack Makepeace, Anthony Woodthorpe
TMO: Keith Lewis