Newcastle 45 – 26 Leicester

Gallagher Premiership results – Friday: Gloucester 16-19 Saracens; Saturday: Newcastle Falcons 45-26 Leicester Tigers, Exeter Chiefs 35-12 Northampton Saints; Sunday: Harlequins vs Sale Sharks (3pm), London Irish vs Bristol Bears (3pm)

Last Updated: 07/01/23 6:37pm

Former Leicester centre Matias Moroni was on the scoresheet for Newcastle as they eased past the Tigers

Former Leicester centre Matias Moroni was on the scoresheet for Newcastle as they eased past the Tigers

A round-up of Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership action as Newcastle Falcons battered Leicester Tigers, while Exeter proved too strong for Northampton…

Newcastle Falcons 45-26 Leicester Tigers

Mateo Carreras scored a first-half hat-trick as Newcastle Falcons blitzed Leicester Tigers 45-26 in their first Gallagher Premiership clash of 2023.

The Argentine’s contribution – along with a Callum Chick try – came in a blistering opening 40 minutes for the north-east side, with Ben Youngs’ score the only bright point for the blunt visitors.

Ollie Chessum went over after the break for the Tigers to reduce the deficit, but a Brett Connon penalty and tries from Jamie Blamire and Matias Moroni ensured a thoroughly-deserved victory for the home side despite late Jimmy Gopperth and Sean Jansen efforts, which earned a bonus-point for Leicester.

The Tigers, in the post-Steve Borthwick era, have now lost heavily over the last two weekends: 40-5 at Sale Sharks and 45-26 at Newcastle.

Exeter Chiefs 35-12 Northampton Saints

Exeter bounced back from a five-try drubbing against Gallagher Premiership leaders Saracens last weekend as they swept Northampton aside 35-12 at Sandy Park.

The Chiefs’ bonus-point success saw them climb three places to fifth after first-half tries from No 8 Sam Simmonds, wing Olly Woodburn and hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie put them in control.

Cowan-Dickie added a second try after the break, although he then gave new England head coach Steve Borthwick an injury scare four weeks out from the Six Nations when he limped off after appearing to hurt his ankle.

Centre Henry Slade also scored, while fly-half Joe Simmonds kicked five conversions, with Saints restricted to tries from Fraser Dingwall and Matt Proctor, plus a George Furbank conversion.

An infinitely tougher test awaits Exeter in Pretoria next weekend when they resume Heineken Champions Cup action against the Bulls at altitude – with forecast temperatures of 30-plus degrees.

But they will travel to South Africa on Sunday after putting themselves just one point adrift of the top four and quickly erasing the Saracens result from their memory bank.

Northampton, though, once again underlined a chronic lack of consistency, suffering a comprehensive reversal just six days after crushing Harlequins 46-17.

It was their fourth defeat from the last five games in all competitions and they must now regroup for fierce Champions Cup examinations against Munster and La Rochelle.

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