London Irish flanker Olly Cracknell believes the scoreboard did not accurately reflect what happened on the pitch in his side’s 45-24 defeat to Saracens in Round 4 of the EPCR Challenge Cup.

The Exiles did not leave the StoneX Stadium empty-handed despite losing a thrilling capital clash after picking up a losing bonus point that booked their spot in the last 16.

Saracens’ Alex Lewington scored two tries against his old club for Mark McCall’s men who kept alive their own qualification hopes with victory.

Despite tasting defeat on Sunday, Irish currently top Pool C after finishing their group stage campaign but they could be knocked off their perch by Edinburgh in Round 5 in April.

Cracknell said: “It was a frustrating game for us.

“I was just speaking to [assistant coach] Brad Davis and we both said that we played most of that second half camped in our own half. We didn’t really get any momentum going.

“I don’t think the scoreboard reflects what it felt like on the pitch, but they are a clinical team that take their chances.”

London Irish’s director of rugby Declan Kidney agreed that the Men in Black were ruthless when given the chance to put points on the board.

He said: “Saracens played well, we knew they would do.

“We knew they were going to come at us. When you have soft moments, they're going to pick off points.

“We stuck at it and getting the bonus point at the end was just reward for the lads' effort."

Henry Arundell secured the all-important bonus point try for Irish with a special score which impressed his former academy teammate.

Cracknell added: “Fair play to Henry, that was a brilliant try to secure our try bonus point with some great individual skill. 

“That point means that we have qualified, which gives us some knock-out rugby to look forward to.”

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall was satisfied with his side’s performance as they avoided an early European exit and reserved special praise for Elliot Daly, who was not named in Eddie Jones’ initial England training squad for the Six Nations.

He said: “It was a decent performance from us, we did a lot of things with the ball. We responded really well to some setbacks that came our way.

"I thought he [Elliot Daly] had many exciting moments. He can play so many positions and today he stepped in at full-back."