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Van der Merwe's heroics silence the Twickenham masses

A try for the ages lights up a thrilling opening weekend of Six Nations rugby as Scotland, Ireland and France register away wins

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James Stokes double sets up London Irish win

By PA
Paddy Jackson of London Irish celebrates victory with Ollie Hoskins (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

James Stokes scored two tries as London Irish regained first place in their European Challenge Cup pool with a 26-17 bonus point victory over Pau.

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Stokes twice benefited from well-timed passed from Paddy Jackson and Phil Cokanasiga scored a superb solo try as Irish established a 21-7 lead at half-time.

Pau, who had briefly levelled through Atila Septar, reduced the gap through a Clovid Lebail penalty but Tom Parton raced into the corner to secure the bonus point after 49 minutes.

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The visitors were far from finished and began to put Irish under intense pressure, forcing a number of penalties before Thibault Debaes deservedly crossed the line late on.

Irish have maximum points from their first two matches in the pool following their opening 34-8 win in Agen.

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