London Irish director of rugby Nick Kennedy had no complaints after skipper David Paice was sent off in their 39-15 defeat at Gloucester.

Paice was red carded on the stroke of half-time for an off-the-ball challenge on Gloucester Willi Heinz, who failed to reappear for the second period.

Irish trailed 20-8 at the time but were forced to play the entire second half with 14 men as they crashed to a ninth straight Aviva Premiership defeat, leaving them six points adrift at the bottom of the table.

And Kennedy believes the match officials were left with no choice but to send off former England international Paice.

“It was a definite red card,” admitted Kennedy. “I watched it once back on the replay and the referee got it spot on.

"We pride ourselves on our discipline and we really let ourselves down going down to 14 men.

"We were very much in the game at the time. A few elements were going really well for us and if we'd have gone on with 15 men, we would've had tactical plans for the second half.

"But, all the plans go out of the window when you've got 14 men. You need to change systems, structures and then ask the boys to put in an incredible bit of effort to make up that man disadvantage."

Villager:

David Paice was red-carded against Gloucester.

Irish scored a try in each half at Kingsholm through Petrus Du Plessis and Teofilo Paulo, with Tommy Bell landing one conversion and a penalty.

But Gloucester notched five tries to secure the win and bonus point with Billy Burns scoring twice and Lewis Ludlow, Jake Polledri and Henry Purdy crossing once, allied to 14 points from the boot of Billy Twelvetrees.

The Exiles now turn their attention to back to back European Rugby Challenge Cup games away to Edinburgh this Saturday (7.35pm ko) and home to Stade Français a week later.

And that will be followed by a massive Aviva Premiership clash away to Worcester Warriors on Friday, December 22 – the side immediately above them in the table.

Kennedy added: “We’re now in Edinburgh mode and we’ll plan for the match accordingly.

“Then it’s all about the Worcester game in two weeks’ time and we’ll do everything we can to put in our best performance.

“We showed a lot of heart at Gloucester right until the last second and we will never give in, no matter what the score line is.

“Our maul defence, especially with 14 men was pleasing against a confident Gloucester side who were very much in the ascendancy in front of their home crowd.”