London Welsh cemented their place at the top of the Greene King IPA Championship table with a comprehensive 41-6 victory over Cornish Pirates at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday night.

The Exiles ran in five tries in a one-sided affair to move two points clear of second-placed Rotherham Titans.

Welsh, showing no signs of a British & Irish Cup hangover, following their back-to-back defeats to London Scottish and Pontypridd, played with a real intensity and purpose from the outset. But the Exiles were still left with food for thought.

Dominant in the scrum thus far this season, Welsh didn’t have it all their own way against a combative Pirates pack, and the return meeting at Mennaye Field in February promises to be an intriguing encounter.

First-half tries from Seb Jewell and Carl Kirwan saw the home side take a commanding 20-6 lead into half-time, with Rob Lewis’ 47th- minute try all but ending the game as a contest.

Welsh wrapped up the bonus point through Andy Titterrell with Tom May’s intercept try adding the icing eight minutes from time.

All Pirates could muster in reply were two Kieran Hallett penalties.

Gordon Ross opened the scoring in the second minute. It was the first of seven successful kicks at goal for the London Welsh fly half and assistant coach.

By the end of the evening , he had stretched his run in the league since his last miss to an impressive 33, going back to the opening game of the season against Bedford.

His next penalty made it 6-0 before Exiles scored their first try.

From a lineout in the Pirates 22, Nathan Trevett crashed up the middle and quick ball and a flat pass from Ross sent Jewell through, the full back taking the tackle, but having the strength to force his way over.

Ross’s conversion gave the hosts some breathing space 13-0.

Hallett got the Pirates on the scoreboard at the second time of asking, but Welsh were now into their stride and having battered away at the Pirates line, Kirwan picked up and dived over after Lewis was hauled down just short. Ross converted.

Welsh prop Trevett recei-ved ten minutes in the sinbin for tackling a Pirates player off the ball, and Hallett added the three points.

Hallett accepted the easy three points on offer before half-time.

Just after the break, Welsh put the game to bed.

It looked like the initial chance had gone, when Welsh overthrew on their own lineout ball on the Pirates 22.

However, they managed to win possession back and Titterrell’s break and brilliant offload found Lewis, who managed to stretch for the line. Ross converted.

Exiles now went in search of the bonus-point try. Their pack piled on the pressure and eventually made it tell when Titterrell found a way through from close range. Ross added the extras.

May rounded things off when he intercepted five metres inside his own half, as the Pirates chanced their arm, and raced clear for try No 5 in a comprehensive return to Championship action for the dominant Exiles.

London Welsh: Jewell (Awcock 64), Stegmann, May (capt), Parker, Scott, Ross, Lewis (Davies 58), Trevett (Moss 63), Titterrell (Davis 63, Edwards (Tideswell 63), Lees (D Browne blood reversal), P Browne, Thorpe (Corker 33, Moss 34-44 sin bin), Kirwan, D Browne (Pienaar 52, blood).

Cornish Pirates: Holland, Pope, Riley, James (Hendrickson 74), Evans, Hallett (capt) (Sinclair 74), Kessell, Cahill (Davies 65), Channon (Elloway 69), Joyce (Prescott 66) , Graulich, Patrick (Sandford 49), Parker, Atkinson (Cheeseman 69), Conlon.

Referee: I Tempest.

Attendance: 1,203.