London Irish’s director of rugby, Declan Kidney, was pleased with the improvements made in his sides narrow defeat to Saracens.
The Exiles were pipped by the Premiership champions thanks to a last-minute penalty kick, but Kidney believes the squad’s tenacious work around the pitch was good to see.
“We were in a good field position for a lot of the first half. We probably didn’t convert that to points when we needed to, especially with the type of weather.
“I thought, when we came out in the second half, we played a lot smarter. The forwards gave us good control up front and the half-backs managed to control things around the pitch. We took our points when the opportunities came our way, but obviously coughing up eight points at the end of the game cost us.”
To come so close to getting a result at Allianz Park is a difficult thing to reflect on, which Kidney alluded to.
“I think anytime you lose a game in this manner, you are always going to be extremely disappointed. Saracens are a club that is used to winning and congratulations to them.
“What we are trying to do is be the best team that we can be, every time we take to the pitch. There were lots of lessons that we learnt from the Sale match and we put some of those to good use against Saracens.”
The highly competitive nature of the Gallagher Premiership means that each club offers their own strengths, something that Kidney is well aware of.
“Every team presents a different type of challenge, so it’s very hard to compare one with the other. Everyone knows that Saracens are missing a fair few players due to the Rugby World Cup, but we will learn lessons from this and be better for the next match, so will the opposition.
“We need to improve a few steps to make sure we stay at the same pace as everyone else."
London Irish host Leicester Tigers in Round 4 of the Gallagher Premiership on Sunday 10 November (kick-off 2:30pm), click here to get your tickets!