Jim Mallinder admitted Montpellier wing Nemani Nadolo was ‘absolutely on fire’ in Saints’ 26-17 defeat at the Altrad Stadium on Friday night.
Nadolo scored two and set one up as the French team recovered from a 10-7 half-time deficit to secure a bonus-point success.
Saints had impressed either side of half-time, but they were eventually undone by the brilliance, and brutality, of the Fiji wing.
And Mallinder said: “It’s hard to reflect, that’s something that takes a bit of time but I’m thinking about that performance and we had quite a few young lads in there up against a quality side.
“I think we did pretty well to be honest. We had a few chances and in the second half we probably didn’t win enough ball and there was one outstanding performance from Nadolo.
“I thought he was absolutely on fire so a lot of credit has to go to him and the way he played.”
Saints finished bottom of Champions Cup Pool 4, having lost all of their away games and the home clash with Leinster.
They did manage to win against Montpellier and Castres at Franklin’s Gardens, but it wasn’t to be enough.
“We’ve had a mixed campaign,” Mallinder said. “We haven’t been at our best by a long way and we want to be consistently good in Europe.
“We’ve won two home games against Castres and Montpellier and they’re two quality sides. We have gone away from home and been beaten at Castres and Leinster.
“That was a disappointment for us. We’ve put our bodies on the line and we’ve won our last four games, but we’re disappointed to lose on this occasion.”