Northampton Saints director of rugby Chris Boyd admitted his side could only look at themselves after a shock 20-16 defeat at home to London Irish on Friday evening.
The men in Black, Green and Gold were beaten in the dying moments at Franklin’s Gardens as two late tries for the Exiles turned the tie on its head.
Cobus Reinach’s try and 11 points for James Grayson had put Northampton in line for their fifth straight win in all competitions, but the last-gasp scores for Franco van der Merwe and Dave Porecki meant Boyd’s men had to settle for a losing bonus point.
“The intention was to play the game in space as we normally do, but poor decisions and poor execution probably held us back.”Chris Boyd, director of rugby
And the Kiwi coach could not hide his frustration as Saints squandered the opportunity to climb to the top of the Gallagher Premiership standings.
“The barometer swung past frustration to anger,” he said. “Credit to Irish, they came with a plan and executed it pretty well. They especially defended very well at times.
“We were the masters of our own demise both in our skill execution and the fact we didn’t win collisions when we needed to. We weren’t very disciplined.
“We were two minutes away from stealing a game that would have been unjust either to win or lose really.
“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.”
Saints lost six players to England duty ahead of the clash, but Boyd was not in the mood to make excuses.
He added: “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 losing any players to 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.”