LONDON Irish director of rugby Nick Kennedy believes their 44-13 defeat at European champions Saracens showed the difference in class between the sides.

Sarries ran in six tries to Irish’s one at Allianz Park on Saturday to go top of the Aviva Premiership table.

The contest was much closer than that for the majority of the afternoon, with Exiles trailing just 13-6 at the break and then 20-13 early in the second half thanks to a try from skipper David Paice.

But Exiles had already lost some momentum due to Teofilo Paulo’s yellow card and then saw Mark McCall’s Sarries notch three tries in a seven-minute blitz on their way to a bonus-point victory.

Irish have now lost six league games in a row and remain one place above the bottom of the table and four points ahead of basement boys, Worcester Warriors.

Kennedy groaned: “We went in at half-time very much in the game, but in the second half Saracens showed their class and they ran away with the game.

“It’s always tough when you go down to 14 men and we pride ourselves on our discipline, which wasn’t as good as it has been this season.”

Sarries led 13-6 at the break through a converted Mako Vunipola try and two Owen Farrell penalties, with Tommy Bell slotting two penalties for Irish.

British & Irish Lions ace Farrell went over himself early in the second half while Paulo was in the sin bin, only for Irish skipper Paice to power over the line to make it 20-13 to the hosts.

But Sarries then stormed in front as Wales star Liam Williams, Chris Wyles and replacement wing Nathan Earle all touched down within a devastating seven-minute period before Earle grabbed another from the last play of the match.

Kennedy added: “We were on the wrong end of some calls, which we’ll need to address and learn from.

“The lads showed great fight for 50-plus minutes and then Saracens brought their bench on which had a significant impact.

“They are a team that have been together for a very long time and we’re at the start of our journey and the scoreboard reflected that.”

London Irish host Bath in the Anglo-Welsh Cup at Madejski Stadium this Saturday (3pm ko).