HEAD coach Les Kiss confessed to mixed emotions following London Irish's 52-21 victory against London Scottish on Saturday, writes Richard Ashton.

The hosts ran in eight tries as they extended their advantage at the top of the Greene King IPA Championship to 10 points with six games remaining.

And Kiss told the Chronicle: "We thought London Scottish could be a banana skin if we took our eyes off the ball, but credit to the lads for staying focused.

"To get a bonus-point by half-time was good. There were frustrating periods where we didn't quite get a flow, although we did make some good incisions and took our opportunities well. However, we also probably felt we left a couple out there.

"Credit to Scottish, though, they threw the ball around and attacked with vigour from the back, but for us to get 50-points plus is positive."

Fly-half Ian Keatley starred with a man-of-the-match display which included a try, and Kiss was delighted with the former Ireland internation.

He said: "He was very good. He's a good, smart rugby player whose been very good in training. He showed other forms of his ability than just his passing, with his running game as well.

"Jacob (Atkins) has done a good job recently, but as a young man growing in the game wanted to let him take a breath."

Debutant Michael van Vuuren also scored two tries on his debut after joining from Bath on loan, remarkably taking the number of tries scored by Irish hookers to 26 this season.

Front-row forwards have 39 in total, and Kiss commented: "I thought Micheal went well for his first hit out with us and it was nice for him to get a couple of tries. I thought he threw very well.

"It's interesting the number of tries from the front row. If we kick a penalty into the corner, we're going to drive and we've got a fair bit of traction out of that. It's right to play to those strengths, but 50 per cent of tries are from the backs and there were some nice touches at the end with two forwards setting-up Ollie Hassell-Collins.

"Some of the skill work the boys have been working on came to the fore. It's nice to put variation in our drives."

Meanwhile, Keatley added: "In my first appearance I didn't last too long, so it was nice to get a game and a performance.

"All credit must go to the players around me, they make me look good – the forwards were outstanding.

"We've been talking about taking a bit of pressure off them because we think we've been making them work a bit too hard, and we've been trying to get into our game to get a bit more flow into our attack.

"It's a team game and when the backs and forwards are helping each other out, it's good."

He concluded: "London Scottish are a very good team and it's credit to us we put it back to them. We focused on ourselves and while we made mistakes, we also scored some good tries."