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Page last updated at 14:24 GMT, Monday, 20 December 2010

Newcastle Falcons boss Alan Tait relieved after win

Alan Tait
Tait's side kept their European hopes alive with the win

Newcastle head coach Alan Tait says his decision to take off several senior players almost cost his side in Sunday's 26-24 victory against Exeter.

Falcons required a last minute Jeremy Manning penalty to seal the European Challenge Cup victory after Chiefs battled back from 20-6 down.

"I wanted to get Jimmy [Gopperth] and a few key players off and it upset the rhythm," Tait told BBC Newcastle.

"It was my fault, in terms of going out to win I put pressure on the kids."

Tait added: "I took some of the experience off, but they've won the game and they've fought well and got the win in the end."

Falcons kept their Challenge Cup hopes alive with the victory, ahead of a crucial visit of fellow strugglers Leeds Carnegie in the Premiership on Boxing Day.

"It's a Christmas cracker, as they say," Tait continued.

"Leeds will look at this game and they'll know they can have a go at our set-piece, our line-outs and scrums and Paul [Moriarty - assistant coach] is going to have to work hard again this week.

"We also had Kieran [Brookes] going off again, another injury for a young prop, that upset the rhythm big time in the scrum, so hopefully he's back for next week."

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