“Saints have been a lot better than us over the last couple of seasons, but certainly today, coming into this game, I expected us to push them and certainly show the fight that is the minimum standard for me.
“It was always going to be a difficult game for us as we couldn’t go up or down. We rested three players [Haskell, Mullan and Simpson], everyone else was carrying bumps and bruises, where the likelihood was, if they had played today they would have become unavailable for next week, so we had to be sensible about them.
"It was an opportunity to play some players who haven’t had a lot of game-time, a chance to swap in our bench and use players who have been crying out for game-time really.
“Certainly the biggest disappointment for me was that we seemed to lack fight when they got in front. That was hugely disappointing. We had a good first 20 minutes, but the power game was always going to tell and they were always going to get themselves back into the game, which they did.
“There were 14 points in it at half-time There was a lot of talk about going out and showing pride and getting the first score on the board in the second half, but it got worse from there really.
“We sometimes have to accept we may go out to better teams, but to go out with a whimper like that is unacceptable. It’s certainly going to take a good few days for me to get over it, but we have to pick ourselves up for next week and play better than we did this afternoon because obviously that wasn’t good enough.
“We have to look at the mindset and that’s what I’ve said to the players. We can’t forget this performance because that would be irresponsible just to forget it, but we have to put it behind us and use this hurt today to fire us up for next week.
“The players are hurting as you would expect, but there will be no feeling sorry for ourselves, you have to do your talking and show how much it means to you out on the pitch and we didn’t do that today. We have to go out next week and show we are better than we were today.
“Apart from long-term injuries, going into next week’s game I hope to be picking from a nigh on full strength squad."