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Exeter down Falcons

18th February 2011 22:05

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Gareth Steenson exeter white kicking

Gareth Steenson: Six penalties

Fly-half Gareth Steenson kicked eighteen points as Exeter battled their way to a 23-13 win over Newcastle on Friday.

Newcastle were plunged deeper into relegation trouble as a late surge saw Exeter claim victory at Kingston Park.

There was little to choose between the sides in the first half and it was 6-6 at the break as Jimmy Gopperth and Gareth Steenson kicked two penalties apiece.

Another Steenson penalty edged the visitors ahead after the break and, although the hosts hit back with the opening try through James Hudson, a Matt Jess try and three more penalties from Steenson sealed victory for the Chiefs.

Gopperth should have given Newcastle the lead early in the second half but missed a very kickable penalty - his fourth miss - in the 43rd minute after Exeter were offside.

Steenson's 55th-minute penalty edged Exeter back in front at 9-6 but Newcastle suddenly found some fire and the home pack showed real patience with a series of drives to set up the try for skipper Hudson which Gopperth converted in the 61st minute.

Exeter responded almost immediately, though. Tom Johnson charged down Young's attempted clearance and Jess shot over for a try.

Steenson could not convert but he did kick a penalty seconds later to put Exeter back in the driving seat at 17-13.

Jeremy Manning, on for Gopperth, then missed a very kickable penalty with 10 minutes left and Steenson made sure of the win with his fifth successful penalty five minutes from time and turned the screw with a last-minute penalty to deny Newcastle a bonus point.

The scorers:

For Newcastle:
Try: Hudson
Con: Gopperth
Pens: Gopperth 2

For Exeter:
Try: Jess
Pens: Steenson 6

Newcastle:15 Alex Tait, 14 Luke Fielden, 13 Luke Eves, 12 Tane Tu'ipulotu, 11 Gcobani Bobo, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Micky Young, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Will Welch, 6 Tim Swinson, 5 Andrew Van der Heijden, 4 James Hudson, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Matt Thompson, 1 Jon Golding.
Replacements:16 Rob Vickers, 17 Kieran Brookes, 18 Grant Shiells, 19 Glen Townson, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Hall Charlton, 22 James Fitzpatrick, 23 Jeremy Manning.

Exeter: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Matt Jess, 13 Jason Shoemark, 12 Sireli Naqelevuki, 11 Nic Sestaret, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 James Hanks, 4 Tom Hayes (c), 3 Chris Budgen, 2 Neil Clark, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Chris Whitehead, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Ignacio Elosu, 19 Chad Slade, 20 James Phillips, 21 Junior Poluleuligaga, 22 Ryan Davis, 23 Phil Dollman.

Venue: Kingston Park

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