Aviva Premiership round-up: Tait says 'knives are out' as Mieres sinks Falcons deeper in the mire


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Poor old Newcastle are looking a little more doomed this morning – if doomed-ness is measurable by degrees – after a 16-10 home defeat by Exeter.

The lock Tim Swinson scored a late try that, with Jimmy Gopperth's conversion, gave the Falcons a bonus point, but they are nine points adrift at the bottom of the Aviva Premiership.

Newcastle's head coach, Alan Tait, said: "It's going to be tough old battle and we have to be realistic. I have to look at myself as well and I will do that and I'll have a talk with the owner.

"I'll reflect on my performances over the next few days. I had a dream and vision for this club and it hasn't quite worked and I have to speak to the owner and see what happens. The knives will be out for me and quite rightly so. Maybe I'm writing myself off but it's hard not to after a result like that."

The scrum-half Haydn Thomas scored Exeter's try and the Argentinian fly-half Ignacio Mieres (left) kicked 11 points.

In today's Aviva Premiership matches, Saracens are home to Bath and Sale visit London Irish. Saracens' director of rugby, Mark McCall, will take his team to South Africa this week, in advance of a Heineken Cup home game against Biarritz that was scheduled to be staged in Cape Town before local politics made it all too much of a hassle.

McCall said: "We are in the midst of a long and demanding season and the prospect of spending a week in the sun is a massive energy-giver for everybody at the club."

In the RaboDirect Pro12, Aironi won 20-6 at home to Connacht, closing the gap on their Irish opponents and the Newport Gwent Dragons at the bottom of the table to three points. Sinoti Sinoti scored the only try and Luciano Orquera kicked five penalties. Matthew Jarvis and Niall O'Connor kicked penalties for Connacht, who have lost now 13 matches in a row. Their next game is away to Toulouse. Ah, well.

In the later games, Leinster won 23-19 away to the Cardiff Blues, Sean O'Brien and Rob Kearney scoring the Irish province's tries, and the Scarlets beat Glasgow 16-14 at home. Gareth Davies scored a try for the Welsh region and Moray Low scored one for the Scottish side.