'Bitter lesson' for Saints ahead of Harlequins clash
Chris Boyd has told Saints to 'swallow the pill and get on with it' after their 40-31 defeat to Gloucester at Franklin's Gardens on Sunday afternoon.
The black, green and gold shipped six tries as they lost out against the Gallagher Premiership's third-placed side.
Saints scored five tries of their own, but it was only enough for a single bonus point.
That means they are now seventh, seven points behind fourth-placed Harlequins, who they travel to on Saturday afternoon.
And Boyd said: "Sunday's game was a bitter lesson for us but we've got to swallow the pill and get on with it.
"We knew exactly what was coming against Gloucester - they've got a very clinical game in the 22, which is based around the brutality of their forward pack, and they did us a couple of times there.
"Danny Cipriani might be the best in the world at playing that game - he's certainly the best in the UK.
"When the master gets on the ball and weaves his magic, we know what's coming and what the options are.
"We spent the whole week defending against that and then we came up short on game day.
"It will be a really interesting challenge for our defensive group to go and say 'we knew what was coming, why did we leak those things?'.
"We acknowledge we're not complete as a team in a lot of areas and we're working hard on them."
But Boyd was not too downbeat about his team's defending, despite seeing them concede a total of 101 points in the past two matches.
"We worked out in Clermont that they scored eight tries but only had three rucks to score them," Boyd said.
"We got exposed in our seam at the back of our lineout tail, probably three times, which was massively disappointing.
"There are some defensive processes we need to get right and someone came out with a blatant missed tackle so you can get emotional about the defence but we need to separate that out from tackles.
"The nice thing is that it hasn't been a consistent thing.
"One week it's one problem and then it's another the next so I'm certainly not slitting my wrists around any particular area of our game."