Newcastle Falcons Sinoti Sinoti runs in to score during the Aviva Premiership match at Kingston Park, Newcastle.

Newcastle Falcons started the new year where they had left off in 2017 with an impressive 28-20 victory in the Aviva Premiership over defending champions and league leaders Exeter Chiefs at Kingston Park on Sunday.

Falcons were unbeaten in the final month of 2017 and have now stretched their winning run to six matches after tries from Sinoti Sinoti, Vereniki Goneva and Kyle Cooper a long with points from the boots of Joel Hodgson and Toby Flood were enough to hold on against the Chiefs.

Falcons raced into a 25-3 first half lead including two tries in four minutes from Sinoti and Goneva which followed Toby Flood’s early penalty.

Sinoti’s try was a magnificent individual effort with the Samoan winger receiving the ball 60 yards out, sidestepping Exeter’s James Short and sprinting clear to score.

Goneva’s effort was an equally impressive solo try as he read and gathered Jack Yeandle’s attempt to offload and raced away to touchdown from the half-way line.

Hodgson had replaced the injured Flood by this point and the replacement fly-half converted Goneva’s try before following it up with a penalty to establish an 18-3 advantage.

The lead was stretched even further just before the half-time whistle as hooker Cooper crossed from close range following a lineout in the corner.

Falcons had to call on all their defensive fibres in the second half as they withstood a heavy siege from the table-topping Cheifs.

Tries from Sam Simmonds and Olly Woodburn reduced the deficit for Exeter before Toby Salmon really put the pressure as he crossed with two minutes to play, leaving Falcons with just a five point lead following Gareth Steenson’s conversion.

However Falcons defence held firm and the result was put beyond doubt when Hodgson converted a last minute penalty. Falcons next game sees them faced with Enisei-STM in the European Challenge Cup at Kingston Park on Sunday.