The Six Nations are done and dusted, which means a shift in focus to domestic rugby, and Exeter Chiefs showed no signs of rustiness, climbing to third in the Gallagher Premiership with an efficient 25-16 win over lowly Newcastle Falcons at Sandy Park.

The Chiefs had to recover from a sluggish start, conceding an early try to Ben Stevenson, with Newcastle seeking a first league win in exactly a year.

Exeter wasted little time in righting the early wrong, steamrolling their beleaguered visitors with tries from Greg Fisilau, Zack Wimbush, Scott Sio and Rusi Tuima, ensuring the bonus point was confirmed by the half-time break.

The second half saw the Chiefs take their foot off the gas and Brett Connon struck three penalties for the Falcons, but any question of a dramatic turnaround was answered by a late penalty from Josh Hodge for Exeter, who are chasing the leading duo of Northampton and Saracens.

Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter told BBC Radio Devon: "The lads could have made a lot of excuses and they didn't make any. We made changes to the starting line-up, Ethan Roots took a bang in the last 30 seconds of the warm-up and we had to change him, so the lads could have easily made a few excuses.

"We didn't start well and were seven points down but we knuckled down, got on with it and worked our way back into the game, we scored our tries and we got the bonus point.

"Although it was a little edgy at times in the second half because of the scoreboard, I think when we analyse the game, there was little threat to our tryline and that's allowed us to see it through.

"I'm a little bit frustrated with the second half because I thought we got a bit bogged down with ourselves but fair play to Newcastle, they got the ball off the pitch and made it go set-piece to set-piece and it became a broken down game, but on the whole the guys have managed their way through that pretty well."