Absence of Six Nations stars not to blame, insists Saints boss Boyd
Chris Boyd insists the loss of his side's international players wasn't to blame for the disappointing defeat to London Irish.
Saints had to make do without five fully-fit England players, with Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, Alex Moon, Fraser Dingwall and George Furbank all on Six Nations duty.
And Dan Biggar was given a rest ahead of what will be a busy schedule for the Wales fly-half.
Saints conceded a last-gasp try as London Irish grabbed a shock 20-16 Gallagher Premiership win at Franklin's Gardens on Friday night.
But Boyd said: "It's the first game we've lost with Jimmy Grayson playing at 10.
"We often look to the 10 to run the game, but there are a whole lot of others who are meant to contribute.
"I don't necessarily think it was about that (loss of internationals).
"If we'd have executed our skills properly, we'd have been okay because there were three or four occasions in the first half where we created an edge and flat out dropped the ball.
"You can call what you see but you've got to be able to execute it as well."
London Irish defended well for long periods, belying their seven-match losing streak.
And Boyd added: "We were looking for space but we weren't getting where we wanted to.
"We felt in the first half that we weren't winning a lot of collisions.
"One of the dangers when you talk with players about needing to win collisions is that they go looking for them and perhaps we did in the second half.
"It certainly wasn't the intention. The intention was to play the game in space as we normally do, but poor decisions and poor execution probably held us back."