LONDON Irish ran in seven tries as they moved nine points clear at the top of the Greene King IPA Championship table with a 47-12 victory against Richmond at Madejski Stadium on Sunday, writes Richard Ashton.

It was the visiting side who started the brighter, but Exiles skipper Josh McNally won a penalty at the breakdown to prevent a possible early score for Richmond.

That proved vital as Declan Kidney's men took the lead on 15 minutes, their trademark powerful rolling maul allowing hooker Dave Porecki to dot down in the right-hand corner. Stephen Myler could not add the extras, but Irish led 5-0.

Richmond hit back, however, and after a couple of line breaks, the ball was spread wide for wing Jono Woodward to cross, albeit the conversion from the right-hand touchline drifted wide.

Irish rallied, though, and looked like they may grab another score from the maul only for Richmond No. 8 Ed Milne to pull it down illegally, earning himself a yellow card in the process.

The hosts made the most of their numerical advantage on 32 minutes, though, when after hammering away at the line, scrum-half Ben Meehan dived over from close range. Myler converted and it was 12-5 to the home side.

They could have extended their lead before the break when man-of-the-match scorched through the Richmond defence during a 30-metre break, only for Porecki to knock-on with the line at his mercy. Just minutes later in an almost replica following a Myler burst, Meehan, too, shelled the ball with the try-line begging.

Irish made the perfect start to the second half, however, with Meehan slicing through the defence to cross, and with Myler adding the extras, the hosts were 19-5 in front.

Richmond responded and battered away near the Irish line, but the hosts repelled them and on 52 minutes secured the bonus-point when Porecki again benefitted from the rolling maul to dot down for his 11th try of a remarkably productive season.

Exiles were reduced to 14 men shortly afterwards when Teofilo Paulo was sent to the sin-bin for a high tackle, but they overcame their numbers disadvantage by running in a fifth try when replacement hooker Saia Fangia'a grabbed the hosts third try from the rolling maul. Myler's conversion made it 33-5.

Ofisa Treviranus came off the bench but disappeared within a minute and without touching the ball when he was yellow carded for slowing the ball at the breakdown, and Richmond then collected a second try when impressive fly-half Luc Jones sniped over from close range.

It was Irish who had the last word as they added a further gloss to the scoreline in the final seven minutes, however.

Firstly, McNally powered his way over despite a couple of defenders trying to stop him, and Fainga'a then grabbed his second from close range as Irish camped on their opposition line.

With Myler converting both to take his tally to six successful kicks from seven attempts, Exiles could reflect on a productive afternoon, especially in light of second-placed Ealing Trailfinders' defeat at Bedford Blues 24 hours earlier.

London Irish face a short turnaround before travelling to Nottingham this Friday (7.45pm).