Jim Mallinder says he was ‘embarrassed’ by Saints’ Heineken Cup capitulation against Leinster.
The director of rugby refused to mince his words after seeing his side ship six tries in a 40-7 evisceration at Franklin’s Gardens.
Leinster surged eight points clear of Saints in Pool 1 thanks to a Luke Fitzgerald hat-trick and further scores from Jamie Heaslip, Eoin Reddan and the inspirational Brian O’Driscoll.
Saints, who were 26-0 down at the break, could only reply through Lee Dickson’s try and Stephen Myler’s conversion, leaving Mallinder red faced.
“We were embarrassed,” he said. “We came second best.
“We made a terrible start and that didn’t improve.
“Sometimes in a game you do make bad starts, you do have a bad five or 10 minutes, but you at least then expect to come back fighting for the next 70.
“We were completely outclassed.
“It’s a game we were building up towards. we had some league games recently and it was our big game. At home, against one of Europe’s finest teams and I feel embarrassed.
“We’ve let the fans down. We’ve got some great fans here who come and they love the European competition and we’ve messed up today.
“At half-time we said we could still do this. If Leinster have done this to us, we could do the same thing to them.
“We did improve slightly in the second half but it was always game over. The damage had been done in the first 20 minutes.”