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Ruthless Chiefs dominate Falcons to reach Twickenham again

19 May 2018 19:20

Exeter Chiefs eased to a 36-5 victory over Newcastle Falcons at Sandy Park to reach the Premiership final for a third successive season.

Nic White scored one try and created another for Olly Woodburn as the reigning champions sizzled in the sunshine, booking another trip to Twickenham in style as they set up a title showdown with Saracens next weekend.

Newcastle had enjoyed their best league finish since they won the inaugural Premiership two decades ago, yet the well-oiled Chiefs gave the visitors a harsh lesson in play-off rugby.

The hosts were completely dominant in the opening half, scoring 16 points without reply. Joe Simmonds kicked three penalties before the break, the last of them coming straight after Evan Olmstead was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on in the shadow of his own posts.

The second-rower returned just in time to see his side concede the game’s opening try, scrum-half White darting over from close range following Lachie Turner’s sizzling break from deep.

Simmonds knocked over the straightforward conversion and continued to put the boot into the fading Falcons after the interval, adding two more penalties to make it 22-0.

Newcastle were given a glimmer of hope when Toby Flood's delayed pass sent substitute Alex Tait through a gap, though the former saw his conversion attempt charged down by Turner.

Yet Exeter ruthlessly killed off the possibility of an unlikely comeback by scoring another try of their own, White's clever dart down the shortside drawing in enough defenders to allow winger Woodburn to acrobatically finish in the corner.

Tait summed up Newcastle's disappointing day when he dropped the ball when trying to ground it over the line under no pressure. In contrast, Rob Baxter's side barely made a mistake, setting up the opportunity to avenge their 2016 final defeat at the hands of Sarries.

Captain Don Armand capped a fine Exeter display with a third try, finishing off Thomas Waldrom's bulldozing run to leave Simmonds an easy kick at the end of a one-sided contest.

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