London Irish Director of Rugby Brian Smith admitted Saturday's 18-0 loss at Exeter Chiefs was "a game too far" for his side.
Irish have played out a gruelling schedule over the past eight weeks, and Smith conceded certain members of his squad were in need of some respite.
"We took a bit of gamble through the Amlin Challenge Cup and LV= Cup matches because we really wanted to make a dent in this block of four Premiership matches," said Smith.
"We got a good start but I thought we may run out of juice with a small squad but it was really important that we hit those first two games with everything we had. We have come away with nine points out of these four matches.
"It is a sort of 'pass mark' but it is not what we wanted as we felt that we were a team capable of coming away with 15 points so we are disappointed.
"Take nothing away from Exeter, they outplayed us in the tackle area and managed the conditions very well.
"It was probably a game too far for us. I've asked the same boys to go in to battle for the last eight weeks essentially but in some areas of the squad we are wafer-thin at the moment."