Rugby Union

Newcastle end 20-game winless run with victory over Exeter

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Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards believes his side's first win in 21 matches over the Exeter Chiefs had been coming, reports BBC Sport.

The Falcons hadn't won a match since they beat London Irish in October last year until Sunday's success at home to the Chiefs.

They came close to ending the run against Irish last month but they fell desperately short, losing by just two points against a resolute Exiles side.

But they finally managed to earn a victory thanks to tries from Sinoti Sinoti, Tom Catterick and Noah Cato, as well as 14 points from the boot of Juan Pablo Socino.

Deserved win

"It's not relief, this has been coming," Richards told BBC Newcastle.

"I'm still a bit frustrated with the way we did it but at the same time delighted with the players that we've won.

"I felt we deserved it, but that's not taking anything away from Exeter."

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Hard-fought contest

Hosts Newcastle demonstrated spirit and resilience after Exeter's Jack Yeandle, Henry Slade and Ben White all crossed over in the first half to give the visitors a slender 15-14 lead at the break.

The Chiefs then extended their lead to 24-17 in the second half but, desperate for the victory, the home side hit back with tries from Catterick and Cato after Sinoti had also earlier gone over the line.

Confidence boost

Richards is now hoping they can use the win as a platform for the rest of the Aviva Premiership campaign and he added: "I thought Hogg did well, Ruki played well too and offers so much and to have Mike Blair there to come off the bench too - it's a side that is moving forward.

"That has been seen by the style of play we've shown over the last few months but we've got to string together some results and this win will be a real confidence boost."

Newcastle travel to face London Welsh in a key relegation clash this coming weekend.

Exeter Chiefs
Rugby Union
Newcastle Falcons
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