Sun 30 May 2021 | 05:41

Vermeulen double helps Exeter destroy Newcastle

Vermeulen double helps Exeter destroy Newcastle
Sun 30 May 2021 | 05:41
Vermeulen double helps Exeter destroy Newcastle
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PREMIERSHIP REPORT: Exeter Chiefs recorded their biggest win in the Premiership when they smashed Newcastle Falcons 74-3 at Sandy Park on Sunday.

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The Chiefs racked up a whopping 12 tries in the match with Henry Slade and Jacques Vermeulen both scoring a brace.

After just three minutes, the home side found themselves in front when Sam Skinner scored a converted try from a catch-and-drive in the right corner.

The visitors kept their heads high and cut the gap by three points just four minutes later when red-zone pressure was rewarded by a simple penalty for Toby Flood from in front of the posts on the Chiefs’ 22.

Sheer physicality from the Falcons’ defence repelled Exeter’s attack when the Chiefs kicked another penalty to the corner, the visitors’ scrum also standing up well to the challenge.

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It took the champions until the 20-minute mark to improve on their tally, again turning to the driving maul in the right corner, where single-season try-scoring record holder Sam Simmonds grounded the ball.

The Chiefs had the taste for the mauling game, but a superb maul turnover from Gary Graham denied them a third try from the catch-and-drive when they kicked another penalty to the corner on 24 minutes.

Newcastle’s task was made even more difficult when John Hardie was sent to the sin bin just before the half-hour for a high tackle inside his own 22. The Chiefs then had a second try for Sam Simmonds chalked off for obstruction at a maul breakout in the left corner.

However, they did not have to wait long with Welsh wing Alex Cuthbert hitting a straightening midfield line from 40 metres out to race between the posts – Joe Simmonds adding the conversion.

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The home side had the four-try bonus point on 35 minutes when slick hands along the line and a grubber to the left corner allowed England centre Henry Slade to collect the bouncing ball for an unconverted score.

There was still time for one more try before the interval when a quickly-tapped penalty enabled Jacques Vermeulen to score from a close-range ruck in the right corner with Joe Simmonds adding the extras for a 31-3 interval advantage.

Exeter’s dominance continued after the break when Vermeulen scored his second try down the left from a close-range pick and go, and they hit the half-century inside an hour when Henry Slade and Joe Simmonds both dotted down.

Dave Ewers continued the punishment on 65 minutes when he scored on a short crash-ball line, and he was followed swiftly by Stuart Hogg as the B&I Lions fullback grounded in the left corner following off-the-top line-out ball and a quick transfer through the hands.

Replacement Harvey Skinner was next over when he collected an offload from five metres out, with Tom Flaherty completing the scoring two minutes from time.

The scorers:

For Exeter Chiefs:
Tries: S Skinner, S Simmonds, Cuthbert, Slade 2, Vermeulen 2, J Simmonds, Ewers, Hogg, H Skinner, O’Flaherty
Cons: J Simmonds 7

For Newcastle Falcons:
Pen: Flood

Yellow card: John Hardie (Newcastle Falcons, 26)

Teams:

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Facundo Cordero, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Tom O’Flaherty, 10 Joe Simmonds (captain), 9 Jack Maunder, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Sam Skinner, 4 Jannes Kirsten, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Alec Hepburn.
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Jonny Hill, 20 Sean Lonsdale, 21 Stu Townsend, 22 Harvey Skinner, 23 Stuart Hogg.

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Joel Hodgson, 14 Alex Tait, 13 George Wacokecoke, 12 Pete Lucock, 11 Chidera Obonna, 10 Toby Flood (captain), 9 Sam Stuart, 8 Carl Fearns, 7 John Hardie, 6 Gary Graham, 5 Rob Farrar, 4 Toby Salmon, 3 Rodney Ah You, 2 Robbie Smith, 1 Kyle Cooper.
Replacements: 16 Charlie Maddison, 17 Sam Lockwood, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Will Montgomery, 20 Tom Marshall, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Will Haydon-Wood, 23 Zach Kerr.

Referee: Andrew Jackson
Assistant referees: Gareth Holsgrove & Phil Watters
TMO: Geoff Warren

Source: @FalconsRugby

PV: 6
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