NICK Kennedy felt London Irish had opportunities to beat Edinburgh despite losing 37-14 in their opening European Challenge Cup Pool Four clash on Saturday, writes Richard Ashton.

Exiles were competitive throughout, but a couple of late tries added a gloss to the scoreline for the visiting Scots, who secured a bonus point.

Reflecting on the defeat, Director of Rugby Kennedy, commented: “I’m disappointed with the result. I thought we were definitely better (than we have been) in areas at times, I thought our defence was good in open play. It was a defensive lapse off our kick-chase that ended up hurting us.

“At this level it’s ruthless, one little error results in a try. We learnt that in our first game, and we’re working very hard to minimise those lapses and get rid of them.

“It’s not something we can suddenly change overnight, we’re putting a lot of time and effort into it, but it is something which is going to take time.”

He continued: “At times we were very much in the game. If we’d scored to go 23-21 then we get a load of energy from the try and things could have looked slightly different. We were good and we could have won the game, but we gifted them yards and tries.”

One positive Kennedy took was the return of teenage wing Joe Cokanasiga, and he praised the youngster, stating: “He had some good runs. He came out in the second half and tried to take the game to them, and he showed his pace which was great.”

Topsy Ojo agreed with Kennedy, adding: “There were little swings in the game where we need to control things better.

“The last two tries maybe put a gloss on the scoreline for them, but if you give opposition opportunities like we did, and switch off at any period, you get punished. We’ve got to learn that lesson.”

Meanwhile, Edinburgh Director of Rugby, Richard Cockerill, believed the score flattered his side.

He admitted: “Irish played well to be fair – I thought they were combative and competitive.

“If you look at the squads, we probably should win, but I thought the score flattered us.

“But it’s a good start for us to get an away win.