London Irish: Nick Kennedy warns defence must improve to compete in Premiership

London Irish director of rugby Nick Kennedy
Nick Kennedy guided London Irish back to the Premiership in his first season in charge

London Irish director of rugby Nick Kennedy says they must stop giving themselves "mountains to climb" if they are to win Premiership matches.

The Exiles took a losing bonus point as they went down 28-27 to Leicester, their fifth successive defeat.

"We switched off in the first half of a game yet again," Kennedy told BBC Sport. "If we keep doing that, we're not going to win many games."

Irish are five points ahead of bottom-placed Worcester after six games.

Second-half tries against Leicester from Blair Cowan, David Paice and Alex Lewington narrowed the margin of defeat, but Kennedy's side have conceded 25 or more points in each Premiership game so far this campaign.

"We keep giving ourselves mountain to climb," Kennedy told BBC Radio Berkshire. "It was a bit smaller to climb this week, but it's the same points for us that we need to address.

"The boys showed excellent heart to play until the 82nd-minute to get the losing bonus point.

"But, the scoreboard doesn't lie. We deserve to have lost the five games we have.

"We were the worst side the last time we were in the Premiership and we know we still haven't got enough improvement from the aspects of our game we've been working on."

Irish now face Edinburgh and Stade Francais in the opening two rounds of the European Challenge Cup before returning to Premiership action at Saracens on Saturday, 28 October.