London Irish made it two wins out of two in the Greene King IPA Championship with a 36-12 bonus-point victory over newly-promoted Richmond.

A brace from Blair Cowan coupled with further tries from Brendan McKibbin, Harry Elrington, Gerard Ellis and skipper for the day David Paice, secured maximum points for Nick Kennedy’s men.

The Exiles now gear-up for next weekend’s trip to Bedford Blues, who will be looking to record their first win of the season following defeats to Cornish Pirates and Jersey.

But for now, Irish can take heed from their winning start as the feel good factor returns to the Exiles’ dressing room.

Irish went 14-0 up inside the first 15 minutes through Cowan and Paice, the rolling maul proving to be an effective tool for the hosts. Former England hooker Paice touched down on seven minutes, before Cowan was driven over moments later. Tommy Bell continued his excellent ratio with the boot as he converted both scores.

Midway through the first half, Cowan crossed for his second try of the contest when Ross Neal unleashed the Scotland international on the overlap. Bell’s touchline conversion drifted wide and Irish had the advantage at 19-0 going into the break.

Keeping with the theme of the day, Irish picked up where they left off immediately after the interval with replacement hooker Ellis dotting down following yet another rolling maul to ensure the try bonus-point. McKibbin was next to get in on the act, sprinting half the length of the field to slide over the whitewash after the ball bounced kindly for the Australian. Bell was unable to add the extras but Irish were in the ascendancy at 29-0.

Seemingly coasting to victory, Richmond refused to lie down and were dogged in their effort to breach the Exiles’ defensive line.  

Trailing 29-5, Richmond continued to ask questions of the Exiles’ rearguard and with the hour mark looming, the pressure told when Sebastien De Chaves was sin-binned for persistent infringement at the ruck. From the resulting penalty, Richmond got clean ball at the lineout and openside flanker Jack Allcock backed himself for the visitors’ second try of the afternoon.

Four minutes from time, Irish had the final say when Academy product Elrington, who came on in the second half added try number six for Kennedy’s troops. Bell made no mistake with the conversion to end the game 36-12.

London Irish

Tries: David Paice, Blair Cowan (2), Gerard Ellis, Brendan McKibbin, Harry Elrington

Conversions: Tommy Bell (3)


Sin-bins: Sebastien De Chaves

Richmond: Sean Ohagan, Jack Allcock

Conversions: O’Hagan


London Irish: 15 Greig Tonks (Ben Ransom, 40), 14 Ross Neal (Ben Ransom, 22, 30) 13 Fergus Mulchrone, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Topsy Ojo, 10 Tommy Bell, 9 Brendan McKibbin (Darren Allinson, 75), 1 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (Harry Elrington, 62), 2 David Paice (c) (Gerard Ellis, 24), 3 Ben Franks (Ollie Hoskins, 54), 4 George Robson (Jerry Sexton, 42, 54), 5 Sebastian De Chaves, 6 Joe Trayfoot, 7 Blair Cowan (Max Northcote-Green, 62), 8 Ofisa Treviranus

Replacements: 16 Gerard Ellis, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Oliver Hoskins, 19 Jerry Sexton, 20 Max Northcote-Green, 21 Darren Allinson, 22 Ben Ransom

Richmond: 15 Ross Jones-Davies (Rob Kirby, 80), 14 Charles Broughton (Jamie Gibbs, 70), 13 Cameron Mitchell, 12 Ronnie McLean, 11 Will Browne, 10 Sean O’Hagan, 9 Sam Stuart, 1 Timmy Walford (Jeremy Cunnew, 49), 2 Jason Phipps (Ross Grimstone, 54), 3 Rupert Harden (Ali Lyon, 67), 4 Tyler Hotson, 5 Matthew Corker (c), 6 Tom Sargeant (Harrison Edwards, 70), 7 Jack Allcock, 8 Chris Davies

Replacements: 16 Ross Grimstone, 17 Jeremy Cunnew, 18 Harrison Edwards, 19 Jamie Gibbs, 20 Jonathan Woodward, 21 Rob Kirby, 22 Ali Lyon

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