LONDON Irish director of rugby, Declan Kidney, was left frustrated despite his side picking up a losing bonus-point from a 20-16 defeat at Scarlets in their opening European Challenge Cup clash.

A Dan Jones penalty put the hosts in front on 14 minutes, only for Samoan hooker Motu Matu'u to power over for Exiles before Stephen Myler converted to make it 7-3.

Irish had Bryce Campbell sin-binned for a deliberate knock on before Corey Baldwin crossed for a converted score.

Two Myler penalties made it 13-10, but Jones landed one of his own to ensure the sides went into the interval level.

Scarlets moved back in front 12 minutes into the second half, another Jones grubber kick being collected by Steff Hughes to dive over. Jones added the extras to put his side seven points in front.

Myler reduced the arrears with another penalty shortly afterwards, but there were no further scores in the final 25 minutes as Scarlets held on for victory.

Kidney said: “It was disappointing not to get a result. We were well in it for the whole 80 minutes so just need to build on our belief in ourselves as a squad.

“I suppose that is what makes it so disappointing, the fight is great, we are staying in it and we are doing so much of what we said we would do. It’s just to learn to finish that and, that is part of the progress for this squad to make.”

London Irish host Bayonne this Saturday (3pm) and Kidney concluded: “It will be good to get back on the bike after Scarlets. We have an away point, but we will have to regroup, learn from the game and put that to good use next week as we have done all season so far.”