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Chiefs too strong for Falcons

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Haydn Thomas

Haydn Thomas

Haydn Thomas

Exeter took a major step towards Aviva Premiership safety with a hard-fought 16-10 win at beleaguered Newcastle Falcons.

The victory should be enough for the Chiefs to concentrate on pushing on for a top-six spot, but Newcastle probably should start planning for life in the Championship.

They remain well adrift at the foot of the table but did squeeze a losing bonus point out of the game with Tim Swinson's converted try two minutes from time.

The Chiefs led 10-0 at half-time after an opportunist try from scrum-half Haydn Thomas.

Fly-half Ignacio Mieres kicked the conversion and added two penalties and a late drop-goal to give the Chiefs a 16-3 lead.

Jimmy Gopperth converted Swinson's close-range try to add to his second-half penalty as the Falcons clinched a bonus point.

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