The Exiles outscored Montpellier four tries to three on Saturday to record a 26-21 victory in the Legion Rugby Challenge at Stade des Alpes.
Tries from Ofisa Treviranus, Fergus Mulchrone, James Short and Nic Rouse were enough to get the Exiles across the line against a team full of world class international players.
Irish got off to a dream start against the Top 14 side with a try inside the first three minutes from Ofisa Treviranus. Irish were awarded a penalty and kicked to the corner from there George Skivington's pack executed a magnificent catch and drive with the Samoan International dotting the ball down. Geraghty added the extras to make it 7-0.
Montpellier gradually came into the contest and had their first try on 15 minutes with fly half Selponi weaving past Irish defenders to score to the right of the posts. Pelisse added the extras to level the scores up at 7-7.
Brian Smith's side were working hard in all facets of the game. The front five were taking the contest to the giant Montpellier pack, Andrew Fenby, Alex Lewington and Tom Homer were at threat out wide and Sheridan and Mulchrone were solid in the midfield producing their speciality choke tackle towards the end of the first half.
With ten minutes remaining in the opening period Irish scored their second try which came straight off the training ground. Tom Guest picked the ball up from the base of the scrum before passing to scott Steele. The young scrum half fed Sheridan who passed short to Mulchrone whose angle took him away from his opposing defender and over for the try. That made it 12-7 and that is how it remained at half time.
The Irish DoR rung the changes at half time and gave 15 new players a run out.
The third Irish try came 15 minutes into the second half. The ball was won off the top of the line out where James Short took an inside ball of Myles Dorrian and sprinted clear. The winger showed great pace and power to make it to the line and give Dorrian the added bonus of a simple conversion.
At 19-7 the French side had their work cut out, however they responded immediately with a converted try in the corner to bring them back into the match at 19-14.
With less than 10 minutes remaining Nic Rouse put the result beyond doubt with his second score in the far corner. Dorrian added the difficult conversion to stretch his side clear at 26-14.
South African centre Robert Ebersohn scored a consolation try for Montpellier in the last minute to make the final score 26-21 to London Irish.
The Exiles have next weekend off before welcoming Bristol to Hazelwood on friday 22nd August.
London Irish squad
Tom Court; Matt Parr; Mike Mayhew; Jimmy Stevens; Geoff Cross; Leo Halavatau; Dan Leo; Jebb Sinclair; George Skivington; NicRouse; Blair Cowan; Conor Gilsenan; Ofisa Treviranus; Max Berry; Tom Guest; Luke Narraway; Scott Steele; Darren Allinsonl; Shane Geraghty; Myles Dorrian; Andrew Fenby; James Short; Eamonn Sheridan; Ross Neal; Fergus Muchrone; Tom Fowlie; Alex Lewington; Topsy Ojo; Tom Homer