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Irish up and running

London Irish kicked off their Amlin Challenge Cup campaign with a comfortable 60-11 victory over Italian minnows Cavalieri Prato at the Madejski Stadium.

Fergus Mulchrone scored twice in the second half as the Exiles cantered to a nine-try win in Pool 5.

It was not completely plain sailing for the Exiles who saw prop Leo Halavatau sin-binned and conceded a late try to the part-timers.

Myles Dorian, who ended the game with 20 points, kicked the opening penalty after five minutes.

Hooker Jimmy Stevens was at the heart of a devastating driving lineout to claim the opening try after 11 minutes. Dorian missed the conversion but skipped over for a try himself, which he converted, following a delightful pass from lock Bryn Evans.

Andrew Fenby and Sailsi Tagicakibau then crossed to secure a bonus point before half-time.

Mulchrone crossed twice early in the second half, either side of a score by man of match Alex Lewignton before Darren Allinson and Leo Halavatau completed the rout.

Newport Gwent Dragons enjoyed a predictably easy start to their Pool 2 campaign as they hammered Italian part-timers Mogliano 50-8 at Rodney Parade.

Ross Wardle, Francisco Chaparro, Jonathan Evans, Will Harries (two), Ieaun Evans and Adam Hughes all crossed in a seven-try tally, with Kris Burton kicking a further 15 points.

The Dragons, who made a host of changes from last week's win over Zebre but still started Lions star Toby Faletau at No8, had the bonus point locked down just past the half hour as they raced into a 31-3 lead.

Centre Wardle danced over after seven minutes and prop Chaparro and scrum-half Evans crossed in a four-minute spell halfway through the opening period.

Nicolo Fadalti put Mogliano on the board with a penalty after 28 minutes but wing Harries dotted down for the bonus-point try, with Burton converting all four scores and kicking an early penalty for a 28-point lead at the interval.

Harries, Ieaun Evans and Hughes added further tries after the break as the Welsh side warmed up for next week's clash with Bath in some style but Moglaino did claim a consolation try through centre Tommaso Boni.


From Belfast Telegraph