EXETER continued their 100 per cent start to the Gallagher Premiership campaign with a hard-fought 24-17 win against Newcastle at Kingston Park.

The Chiefs led 14-10 at half-time thanks to the Simmonds brothers, with back-row Sam driven over twice from close range and Joe converting both.

And despite Newcastle hitting back to level the scores at 17-17 in the second period, a try from flanker Matt Kvesic - when the Falcons were down to 14 men with Toby Flood in the sin bin - sealed victory for the league leaders.

It was Newcastle who scored first with a try after just two minutes. Tom Arscott and Jonny Williams opened the Chiefs defence with ease and winger Zach Kibirige scorched in from 30 metres, with Flood adding the conversion.

However, the Falcons comprehensively failed to deal with the restart and handed the ball to Exeter. Soon after Sam Simmonds drove over for the try, with the television match official ruling the touchdown was good.

Newcastle survived another trial by TMO six minutes later when a drive over the line by the Chiefs pack was chalked off, and the hosts then defended superbly, forcing a break out which led to spell of pressure.

A weaving Simon Hammersley run should have yielded a score and a penalty to the corner was wasted by a poor throw.

Exeter took full advantage when a penalty of their own to the corner saw Sam Simmonds driven over for his second try six minutes before half-time.

Flood slotted over a penalty just before the break but the seven-point gap was restored three minutes into the second half when Joe Simmonds knocked over a kick of his own following a tip tackle

Newcastle got themselves level with a converted 53rd-minute try from Williams. The Falcons strung together a period of pressure after another Hammersley foray and Flood floated the ball out to Arscott, whose side pass put Williams over.

But when Flood was sin-binned in the 64th minute for preventing the release, Exeter immediately went to the corner with the penalty and Matt Kvesic was driven over for a crucial try converted by Gareth Steenson.

With 10 minutes left Newcastle twice went to the corner with penalties but again the throw was poor and the chance wasted.

There was a frantic end to game when Newcastle scrambled a losing bonus point after Exeter had failed to score a fourth try with a driving line-out with seconds on the clock.

Newcastle forced a turnover scrum but then Joel Hodgson missed touch. Exeter ran it back but the Falcons won a penalty which finally made sure of that losing bonus point.