Exeter’s Henry Slade was instrumental in their victory over Newcastle, putting an end to their away losing streak.
Rob Baxter and the Exeter team achieved a feat they had not accomplished in a while. On October 7, 2022, they were able to celebrate a victory in an away game in the Premiership, causing their opponents to suffer their seventh loss of the season and their tenth consecutive defeat since March.
Alex Codling and his Falcons displayed admirable resilience and talent as they turned the tables on Exeter, who had taken an early lead. Hooker Jamie Blamire and outside-centre Matías Moroni scored two consecutive tries in quick succession.
However, Exeter was determined and managed to secure victory with second-half points from Henry Slade and Josh Iosefa-Scott. Immanuel Feyi-Waboso’s impressive opening score also contributed to their win.
After claiming victory in all four of their home games this season, the team finally achieved their first win on the road since defeating Bristol 50-14 at Ashton Gate 414 days prior. This win elevated them to third place in the overall standings, during which time Liz Truss was still serving as prime minister.
Baxter is carefully composing a fresh section with a revamped team and the rugby director stated: “Our main focus was gaining control of the central third of the field.”
We executed that task successfully and Newcastle was unable to penetrate our 22 multiple times. However, there was a brief period of chaos where they were able to complete a few offloads, resulting in their points for the entire game.
Apart from that, we had a significant amount of control in the middle third of the field. This allowed us to make many plays in their 22 and hindered their chances of making plays in our 22. That was the main factor for me.
Before the start of the match, Newcastle collaborated with Wor Flags to put on a flag display, as they often do at St James’ Park. Supporters were provided with black and white flags to wave, and a large banner with the phrase “Welcome to the true north” was raised at the edge of the field.
The effort made to motivate Codling’s team was commendable, with the blasting of Sam Fender’s “Hypersonic Missiles” over the loudspeaker adding to the atmosphere. However, it may have also left them disoriented, as they appeared sluggish and allowed Exeter to score within the first minute thanks to Feyi-Waboso.
Gathering the ball in the right side lane, the player on the wing charged towards the center of the Newcastle defense, showing impressive power and agility to cut through multiple players and leaving Louie Johnson, a 20-year-old Cumbrian fly-half making his debut in the Premiership, grasping at nothing as he casually crossed the goal line.
Newcastle quickly bounced back with a strong response, taking a 14-5 lead within the first eight minutes. Their initial try occurred when Pedro Rubiolo, the blindside flanker, made a break and tactfully passed to Blamire who sprinted over the try line.
It was a powerful acknowledgement of the prostitute’s abilities in the presence of England’s head coach, Steve Borthwick, and instilled a sense of assurance in his team.
Soon after, Newcastle scored another point when Iwan Stephens received a skillful pass from Guy Pepper, who impressed as an openside flanker until he had to leave due to an injury. Stephens then made a forward kick for Moroni to score in the left channel.
The thrilling start was completed by that, but Slade reduced the gap to five points with a penalty just before the halfway point. Despite Newcastle’s 13 turnovers, they managed to hold off their opponents until the 63rd minute. However, winger Ben Hammersley easily broke through midfield and passed to Slade, who scored and brought Newcastle’s lead down to one point.
In the 79th minute, Exeter secured the winning points after Jacques Vermeulen’s close-range attempt was stopped. Iosefa-Scott then managed to cross the line, and Slade successfully converted the try. This ended Exeter’s losing streak, but Newcastle’s struggles continue.
They failed to register a point in the second half and Codling said: “A lot of things I said today, I’ve said after all seven games and that’s the really sad thing. The players and myself are pretty crestfallen and no one wants to give the supporters a win more than I do.
“We are making fundamental mistakes that can be fatal at any level, especially in the Premiership. This is simply not acceptable.”