LONDON Irish produced their best display of the season to run in nine tries in a 64-17 Championship Cup demolition of Cornish Pirates this afternoon, writes Richard Ashton.

Exiles took the lead in the sixth minute when Stephen Myler bisected the posts after Pirates had infringed at the breakdown, and they opened their try account shortly after when Fijian wing Napolioni Nalaga punched a hole in midfield before off-loading to Myler who in turn passed to Lovejoy Chawatama, the prop showing impressive pace to race over to the left of the uprights. Myler converted to make it 10-0.

Declan Kidney’s men extended their advantage on 20 minutes when a slick moves in the backs was finished off by Tom Fowlie, Myler again adding the extras, though they were dealt a blow on the half-hour mark when Jake Schatz was harshly sin-binned for an adjudged tip-tackle.

Irish defended the subsequent kick to the corner well, but five minutes later their rearguard was breached when a floated pass allowed Alex O’Meara to cross in the right-hand corner. Javier Rojas Alvarez nailed a fine kick to cut the gap to 17-7.

However, the hosts rallied and grabbed their third try when Scott Steele – who excelled on his 100th appearance for the club – initiated a break before finding Greig Tonks to scuttle cleat. The Scottish international ignored Ben Loader outside him as he snuck inside and out before crossing the whitewash, Myler making it three from three in restoring the 17-point cushion before the break.

Pirates cut the gap early in the second period with an Alvarez penalty, but that was as good as it got for the away side.

A penalty try arrived on 48 minutes after Irish overpowered their visitors at three consecutive scrums, and shortly after, a period of sustained forward attacks at the line ended with Ollie Hoskins going over, shortly after Harry Strong had been sin-binned. Myler’s coversion made it 38-10.

Substitute Matt Williams then made a remarkable play as he dropped the ball before extending his foot onto it to thread a diagonal kick through to fellow youngster Ben Loader, the wing collecting before showing fine footwork to run in Irish’s fifth try of the afternoon.

Exiles moved further clear in the 65th minute as Max Northcote-Green benefitted from some beautiful inter-play to make it 54-10 after Myler’s last conversion before being replaced by Jacob Atkins, though the away side cut the gap when Marlen Walker went over and Alvarez ensured the perfect kicking record was maintained by both sides.

It was Irish who were to have the final say, however, the excellent Jake Schatz going over at the back of a rolling maul on 78 minutes before Atkins nailed the conversion, and they completed an outstanding all-round performance when Nalaga buried over from close range at the end of a series of attacks from the forwards. Atkins’ kick drifted just wide of the right-hand post, but it was merely a blot on the copybook of an excellent London Irish display.

Exiles are now two wins from two and host Bedford Blues next Sunday (3pm).