Chiefs clip Falcons' wings
Newcastle may have flew South flying high in the Aviva Premiership, but the in-form Falcons ended up having their wings clipped by defending champions Exeter Chiefs in this Round Six encounter.
Rob Baxter's side returned to the top of the table with another maximum haul at Sandy Park.
Aussie duo Nic White and Lachie Turner both got on the try-sheet, as did man-of-the-moment Sam Simmonds, with the Chiefs sealing victory with a penalty try and 12 points from the boot of fly-half Gareth Steenson.
However, it's perhaps an indication of just how hard the Chiefs judge themselves internally that even wins like this are put through the microscope post-match.
Forwards coach Rob Hunter expressed his pleasure at win number four of the campaign, but was quick to highlight that some of the generosity shown by his side in this latest display cannot be afforded to rival top four contenders.
The Falcons, who played their part in an entertaining contest, were able to at least make the long trek back to the North East with a losing bonus point, courtesy of tries from Will Welch, Juan-Pablo Socino, Alex Tait and Vereniki Goneva, the latter two of which were both converted by replacement Toby Flood.
Keen to bounce back at the first attempt following defeat at Leicester the week previous, Baxter made a handful of changes to his starting line-up for the visit of the flying Falcons.
Up front, Carl Rimmer and Harry Williams came into the front-row, Sam Skinner was brought into the back-row, while behind there were starts for both White and Jack Nowell.
The Falcons, meanwhile, made just one change in personnel from that which had seen them defeat London Irish last time out. It came in the pack, where Trevor Davison came in for his maiden Premiership start at loosehead prop.
Chiefs 34 Falcons 24
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