Reigning champions Exeter will face Saracens in next Saturday’s Aviva Premiership final at Twickenham – a repeat of the 2016 fixture – after cruising to victory against Newcastle.
The Falcons’ Premiership play-off debut proved a deflating affair at Sandy Park as Exeter romped home 36-5.
The Chiefs never looked back after building a 16-point interval advantage through scrum-half Nic White’s try, plus three penalties and a conversion from his half-back partner Joe Simmonds.
Newcastle were never remotely allowed into the contest, having to stage a prolonged defensive rearguard as Exeter pulled further away through tries by wing Olly Woodburn and flanker Don Armand, two more penalties and another Simmonds conversion as he finished with 19 points, while Gareth Steenson added the final conversion.
Alex Tait claimed a consolation try for Newcastle, but their impressive campaign – they finished fourth in the table, reached a first league play-off and were European Challenge Cup semi-finalists – ended on an afternoon when they were dominated in every key department.
Newcastle knew they would be in for a tough time from the off, as their defence withstood a 26-phase opening act, and in the opening half Exeter were imperious. Newcastle made 154 tackles to just nine by the home side, who also enjoyed 93 per cent of the territory while stringing together 189 passes, with Falcons moving the ball just eight times.
Newcastle did manage a try through Tait after the break but stand-off Toby Flood saw his conversion attempt from in front of the posts charged down by Lachlan Turner and anyway it was too little too late for Dean Richards’ team
Newcastle’s misery was completed when Tait dropped the ball in the act of touching down for what would have been his second try three minutes from time.