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Irish made an electric start to the contest crossing for their opening try on 32 seconds. Chris Hala’ufia claimed the restart and set the ball up nicely for the back line to play off. Ian Humphreys found Guy Armitage who broke through the visitors defence and offloaded to Jamie Gibson who burst passed two defenders and ran in to score from 50 metres out. Humphreys added the extras to give Irish the perfect start.
Bryn Evans increased the lead only three minutes later rounding off a well worked team try by scoring in the right hand corner.
The visitors claimed their first points of the afternoon on 9 minutes with a well struck penalty from the boot of fly half Thibault Duvallet. He kicked his second five minutes later from 50 metres to cut the deficit to just six points.
The visitors were looking to punish Irish whenever they were able to turn over ball. On two occasions in the opening quarter they kicked through and applied plenty of pressure. Anthony Watson and Jamie Gibson both did well to recover.
Ian Humphreys was orchestrating proceedings and finding runners breaking through the gain line on the numerous occasions. The Ulsterman was on hand to dot down the Exiles third try on 21 minutes. Chris Hala’ufia broke through the visitors defence after receiving a flat ball from Humphreys and offloaded out of the tackle back to the fly half who scored the try.
Thibault Duvallet was punishing any Irish ill-discipline with his tremendous goal kicking. He chipped over his third penalty on 28 minutes to cut the Irish advantage yet again.
30 minutes marked the Irish bonus point try and it was Halani Aulika crossing for his fourth of the season and re-affirming has status as the most dangerous man from five metres. The forward pack drove into the heart of the visitors pack before Aulika peeled away and dived over the line. Humphreys added the extras to put Irish 24-9 ahead.
Duvallet kicked his fourth penalty just before the break to make it 24 12 to London Irish at half time.
Brian Smith’s side came flying out of the blocks in the second half with a huge amount on intensity. Jonathan Joseph scored his second try in the competition from a move straight off the training ground. The England International received the ball on an arching run, fended off his opposite number and scored in the corner.
Mathieu Giudicelli pulled a try back for the visitors before Irish hit back clinically with three successive scores. Sailosi Tagicakibau intercepted and ran in from 50 metres to score the first.
Anthony Watson, making his first start for the Club, showed great pace and power to score down the right hand touchline, before Ojo crossed under the posts for a trademark score.
Replacement scrum half, Jack Moates, finished off a well worked outside backs move to score his first try for the Club. Watson was again instrumental in the build-up.
Topsy Ojo scored his 63rd try with seven minutes to go to confirm himself as the Club’s top try scorer before Anthony Watson ended proceedings with his second try.
The Exiles top Pool 1 with 10 points going back into the Aviva Premiership. Harlequins are the visitors to Reading next Sunday in a match not to be missed.
Score sequence (London Irish first): 7-0, 12-0, 12-3, 12-6, 17-6, 17-9, 24-9, 24-12, 31-12, 31-19, 36-19, 41-19, 48-19, 55-19, 55-26, 62-26, 69-26
Scorers: London Irish: Tries: Gibson (1), Evans (4), Humphreys (21), Aulika (30), Joseph (43), Tagicakibau (51), Watson (56, 79), Ojo (60, 73), Moates (63); Conversions: Humphreys (4), Shingler (3) ; Penalties: Duvallet (9, 15, 28, 37); Tries: Giudicelli (49), Vickus Liebenberg (71); Conversion: Duvallet (2)
London Irish team
15. Anthony Watson; 14. Topsy Ojo; 13. Jonathan Joseph; 12. Guy Armitage; 11. Sailosi Tagicakibau (rep: Conor Gaston, 61); 10. Ian Humphreys (rep: Steven Shingler, 61); 9. Tomás O’Leary (rep: Jack Moates, 45); 1. Max Lahiff (rep: Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 52); 2. David Paice (rep: Scott Lawson, 52); 3. Halani Aulika (rep: Leo Halavatau, 52); 4. Bryn Evans (rep: Kieran Low, 56); 5. Matt Garvey; 6. Declan Danaher (Captain); 7. Jamie Gibson; 8. Chris Hala’ufia (rep: Ofisa Treviranus, 56)
Replacements: 16. Scott Lawson; 17. Jerry Yanuyanutawa; 18. Leo Halavatau; 19. Kieran Low; 20. Ofisa Treviranus; 21. Conor Gaston; 22. Steven Shingler; 23. Jack Moates
Mont de Marsan team
15. Jean Baptiste Claverie (rep: Alexandre Ricaud, 54); 14. Jordan Beaulavon; 13. Yohann Durquet; 12. Christofer Baegert; 11. William Ryder; 10. Thibault Duvallet; 9. Arnaud Pic; 1. Julian Fiorini (Captain) (rep: Morgan Phelipponneau, 45); 2. Thomas Bordes (rep: Victor Paquet, 45); 3. Mathieu Giudicelli (rep: Pierre Correia, 62) ; 4. Sebastian De Chaves rep: Eric Dos Santos, 70); 5. Wame Lewaravu; 6. Yann Brethous; 7. Vincent Farre (rep: Vickus Liebenberg, 61) ; 8. Aldric Lescure
Replacements: 16. Victor Paquet; 17. Morgan Phelipponneau; 18. Eric Dos Santos; 19. Vickus Liebenberg; 20. Laurent Magnaval; 21. Alexandre Ricaud; 22. Jean Baptiste Dubié; 23. Pierre Correia
Referee: Andy McMenemy (SRU)
Attendance: 5, 720