LONDON Irish moved 10 points clear at the top of the Greene King IPA Championship with a convincing 52-21 home victory against London Scottish on Saturday, writes Richard Ashton.

The hosts made a dream start as they opened the scoring just three minutes into the game, debutant hooker Michael van Vuuren – signed on loan from Bath until the end of the season – making an eye-catching 30-metre break to put Exiles on the front foot.

Having driven into their opponents' 22, Irish then worked through the phases before Australian prop Ollie Hoskins crashed over from close range.

Ian Keatley knocked over the conversion and Declan Kidney's side led 7-0.

Scottish replied quickly, though, aided by Albert Tuisue being sin-binned after failing to roll away from a ruck as the visitors looked set to score.

They made their numerical advantage count shortly after, though, a strong maul sucking the Irish defence in before the ball made its way to Charlie Ingall who went over. Rory Jennings added a fine conversion to level the scores.

Irish moved back in front, however, after a Josh McNally interception and some fine handling enabled the ball to arrive in Keatley's hands, the Irish fly-half going over for his second try in as many games since joining the club on a short-term contract from Munster.

Having added the extras, Keatley then made a superb burst which set up the field position for Hoskins to crash over for his second try of the afternoon and his 10th in 19 appearances this term.

And Irish secured the try bonus-point before half-time, Brendan McKibbin darting through before No. 8 Matt Rogerson went over from close range. Keatley added the conversion to make it 28-7 at the interval.

Exiles refused to take their foot off the gas and added a fifth try early in the second period, Rogerson going over off the back of a powerful scrum.

The sixth try arrived on 55 minutes as van Vuuren added a score to his impressive first game, bundled over at the back of Irish's traditionally strong rolling maul.

Having missed his previous shot at goal, Keatley returned to form with a fine touch-line effort which extended the lead to 40-7.

Van Vuuren grabbed a second from an almost carbon copy as the game entered the final quarter, his try remarkably the 26th scored by an Irish hooker this season.

Indeed, in 24 matches in all competitions, whoever has been playing at No. 2 for Exiles has dotted down in 17 of the fixtures.

London Scottish gained a second try their display warranted as the clock ticked into the final 10 minutes, a cross-field kick well taken by Miles Mantella who crossed the whitewash for a converted score.

However, the hosts responded almost immediately, some slick hands freeing up replacement wing Ollie Hassell-Collins to cross in the left-hand corner.

The conversion was missed, however, and it was Scottish who had the final say, Ingall sprinting half the length of the pitch for his second try of the afternoon.

London Irish face a potentially tough trip to improving Yorkshire Carnegie this coming Sunday (3pm).

London Irish: Alivereti Veitokani; Topsy Ojo (Jacob Atkins 70), Brendan Macken, Luke McLean, Ben Loader (Ollie Hassell-Collins 62); Ian Keatley, Brendan McKibbin (Scott Steele 62); Gordon Reid (Patric Cilliers HT), Michael van Vuuren (Dave Porecki 72), Oliver Hoskins, Franco van der Merwe, Josh McNally (capt)(Teofilo Paulo 60), Albert Tuisue, Jake Schatz, Matt Rogerson (Conor Gilsenan 55)

London Scottish: Charlie Ingall; Rob Stevenson, Bobby Beattie, Richie Vernon (Henari Veratau HT), Miles Mantella; Rory Jennings, Grayson Hart (Josh Barton 62); Jonny Harris (Jordan Brodley HT), Jared Saunders (Billy Harding 59), Phil Cringle (Richard Palframan 45), Theo Vukasinovic (Byron Hodge 61), Tijuee Uanivi, Matt Eliet (Luke Frost 72), Lewis Wynne, Mark Bright (capt)

Referee: Greg MacDonald