London Irish stormed to their sixth successive win to start the Championship season with a 12-try demolition job of rock-bottom Yorkshire at Madejski Stadium.
Ollie Hoskins led the charge with a hat-trick on his 50th appearance for the Exiles as they bagged their biggest win of the campaign so far with further scores from Ben Meehan, Tom Parton (2), Motu Matu’u, Barney Maddison (2), Fergus Mulchrone, Topsy Ojo and Saia Fainga’a, as well as a penalty try.
The biggest cheer of the afternoon was reserved for try number nine as Ojo cruised over in the corner to mark his club record-equalling 290th appearance in style in the 72-5 rout.
Struggling Yorkshire did put up a fight in the first half, but the brutal Exiles pack dominated at both ends of the pitch to ensure a big bonus-point success.
Declan Kidney made six changes to the side which beat London Scottish last week with Ojo, Brendan McKibbin, Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, Motu’u, Hoskins and Maddison all coming in. And there was a further alteration just before kick-off when Meehan replaced Stephen Myler, who was injured in the warm-up.
The last time the Exiles met Yorkshire was a memorable occasion when Irish emerged triumphant in the 2017 Championship play-off final.
And it did not take long for the hosts to move in front again almost 18 months on. Scrum-half McKibbin, one of four men along with Ojo, Hobbs-Awoyemi and Seb De Chaves who also started the game last May, got Irish into a good position with a swift break through the centre. Kidney’s men preserved possession and got across the line when late replacement Meehan sniped over.
That opened the floodgates as the Exiles pack began to dominate. Having thwarted a couple of Yorkshire efforts at one end, the Irish forwards took to their task to move 12-0 up when a rolling maul was dragged down for a penalty try.
Carnegie would have been left wondering how they did not get on the score-sheet themselves moments later, pushing towards the line only to be denied before a big attempted pass out wide was intercepted by Ojo.
And that proved costly as the hosts crossed again midway through the half as full-back Parton burst through to score in the corner after Bryce Campbell had come up just short.
Another big rolling maul drive extended the advantage further with debutant Matu’u flopping over, but in the process Yorkshire second-row Matt Smith picked up a serious looking injury which required 10 minutes of treatment before he was stretchered off.
When play eventually resumed, there was time for another Irish try to go in at half-time 31-0 ahead as a line-out drive culminated in Hoskins going over on his 50th appearance for the club.
The hosts started the second half where they left the first, deep in Yorkshire territory. Inevitably another try followed with Parton again doing the honours, nipping ahead of Ojo to grab the ball and go over in the corner.
Hoskins then joined Parton on two tries for the afternoon, scoring at the back of yet another maul.
The tries just kept on coming with Maddison forcing his way over through a crowd of bodies under the post before the moment everyone had been waiting for as Ojo collected the ball from Parton on the right wing to cruise across the line.
Replacements Mulchrone and Fainga’a then got in on the act late on as Yorkshire’s defence offered no resistance to the constant waves of pressure.
There was still time for Hoskins to cap off his hat-trick with another score in the corner before the visitors nicked a consolation with the last action of the day through JB Bruzullier.
The win lifts Irish up to second in the table, one point behind leaders Ealing Trailfinders but still with a game in hand. They go to Doncaster Knights next weekend.
LONDON IRISH: Parton (Tonks 69), Ojo, Macken, Campbell (Mulchrone 50), Loader, Meehan, McKibbin, Hobbs-Awoyemi (Elrington 50), Matu’u (Fainga’a 50), Hoskins, Maddison, De Chaves, McNally (c) (Paulo 53), Schatz, Rogerson (Treviranus 63).
Tries: Meehan (9), Penalty (14), Parton x2 (23,45), Matu’u (34), Hoskins x3 (38,52,78), Maddison (58), Ojo (62), Mulchrone (67), Fainga’a (72)
Cons: Meehan x5 (35,39,53,59,68)
YORKSHIRE: Brown, Moor, Watkins, Bullough, Elder, Forsyth (Davey 53), Bruzullier, Thraves (Vaughan 46), Donnellan (Gibbings 53), Ilnicki (A. Foster 46), Britton, Smith (K. Foster 36), Ward, Bainbridge, Temm (c) (Buckle 63).
Try: Bruzullier (79)
Yellow card: Britton (14)
Referee: John Meredith