London Irish record maximum points with 48-10 win against Agen in European Challenge Cup opener
Brace from Gerard Ellis along with scores from Joe Trayfoot and Johnny Williams secure bonus-point for Exiles before the break
Two conversions from Chris Noakes ensured Irish led comfortably 24-3 at half-time
A second-half brace from Alex Lewington as well as scores from Rob McCusker and Sean Maitland complete the thumping victory
Felicien Vergnon scores consolation try for the visitors
London Irish put their Premiership worries behind them as they got their European Challenge Cup campaign off to the perfect start with Bonus-point triumph against Agen.
Agen initially took the lead through a penalty from fly-half Francois Bouvier after just four minutes, 0-3
Six minutes later though the hosts were in front after Johnny Williams burst in to touch down for hosts on debut following some great work from Darren Allinson. Chris Noakes missed with the conversion attempt.
The Exiles then added a second score through Gerard Ellis, who stormed his way over from 20 metres out to touch down but Noakes was again unable to convert.
Joe Trayfoot was next to go over for the hosts just after the half-hour with Noakes this time able to add the extras to give the Exiles a convincing lead, 17-3.
London Irish then wrapped up the bonus-point as hooker Ellis crossed for his second just before the break with Noakes adding the extras to give the hosts a 21 point lead at thalf-time.
The Exiles took just three second-half minutes to score their fifth try with Alex Lewington touching down but this time Noakes couldn’t convert, 29-3.
Two quickfire tries between the 56th and 59th minute from Rob McCusker and Sean Maitland put London Irish even further ahead with Noakes keeping his composure to convert both to give them a 40-point advantage.
Agen touched down a consolation try through Felicien Vergnon after 64 minutes, which they deserved for their perseverance.
However, London Irish weren’t done as Lewington crossed for his second to complete the try-scoring on the 69th minute. Noakes couldn’t convert but it hardly mattered as Irish celebrated their first in any competition of the season, 48-10.
MAN OF THE MATCH
London Irish: Gerard Ellis
London Irish: 15. Sean Maitland; 14. Alex Lewington; 13. Aseli Tikoirotuma; 12. Johnny Williams (Waldouck, 56); 11. Topsy Ojo; 10. Chris Noakes (Brophy Clews, 60); 9. Darren Allinson; 1. Tom Court (Smallbone, 58); 2. Gerard Ellis (Cruse, 50, Murphy, 60); 3. Halani Aulika (Halavatau 55); 4. Eoin Sheriff; 5. Matt Symons (Captain) (Sis, 60); 6. Rob McCusker; 7. Joe Trayfoot; 8. Tom Guest (Luke Naraway, 20)
Replacements: 16. Tom Cruse; 17. Tom Smallbone; 18. Leo Halavatau; 19. David Sisi; 20. Luke Narraway; 21. Connor Murphy; 22. Theo Brophy Clews; 23. Dom Waldouck
Agen: 15. François Tardieu; 14. Filipo Nakosi; 13. Julien Heriteau; 12. Vincent Roux; 11. Jason Deschamps; 10. Bautista Guemes; 9. Paul Abadie (Captain); 1. Quentin Bethune; 2. Marc Barthomeuf; 3. Nicolas Chocou; 4. Jean-Baptiste Roidot; 5. Denis Marchois; 6. Antoine Miquel; 7. Nicolas Gal; 8. Marc Baget
Replacements: 16. Charly Morlay; 17. Viliamu Afatia; 18. Dave Ryan; 19. Léo Bastien; 20. Felicien Vergnon; 21. Clement Darbo; 22. François Bouvier; 23. Benoit Sicart