Tom Jones gives his verdict on the back row battle between Newcastle and Exeter

Newcastle versus Exeter; Battle of the Back Rows

6. Don Armand © Vs Gary Graham
7. Matt Kvesic Vs Will Welch ©
8. Sam Simmonds Vs Mark Wilson

Armand

Armand led the defensive effort for Exeter, working tirelessly at the breakdown and ‘trucked it on’ in attack. 7/10

Graham

The blind side flanker was clearly ‘fired up’, reacting heavily after the whistle in the opening stages in the game. He was hugely impressive with energetic and powerful play in both offense and defence, putting in a number of monstrous hits. He was highly prominent throughout the game. 9/10 MOM

Kvesic

Kvesic displayed a surge of powerful direct running, carving holes in the Falcons defence, resulting in the final try for the Chiefs. The open side was played with dynamism throughout, a real nuisance in and around the breakdown. 8/10

Welch

Welch was immense over the ball, winning a crucial penalty at the death to secure a losing bonus point. However, the open side was consistently anonymous in attack in the match. 7/10

Simmonds

Electric off the mark, targeting open space in the backline using the power and acceleration he clearly possesses, rewarding him with two well deserved tries. The in-form 8, he is now the joint top try scorer with 5 tries in 4 games this season. He clearly had a point to prove to Eddie Jones. 8.5/10

Wilson

The Falcons back row moved as one, led by Wilson who was the top tackler in a match of massive collisions making 17. He was dogged and relentless around the park. Led by example. 8/10

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