Dylan Hartley labelled Saints showing against Ulster ‘not good enough’.
And the skipper felt he and his team-mates made the unbeaten Irishmen look better than they are.
Ulster made it 13 wins from as many games this season with a 25-6 win at Franklin’s Gardens on Friday night.
They clinched a try bonus point in the process as Dan Tuohy’s score a minute from time secured a maximum haul.
It left Hartley and Co with their heads in their hands as they reflected on a defeat which puts them eight points behind Ulster in Heineken Cup pool four.
And the captain said: “Not good enough from us. We speak about intensity and they brought bags of it. We didn’t bring enough and we made an unbeaten team look very good.
“They are unbeaten and they showed why. They’re a good team, but we made it look better than it could have been.”
When asked to explain Saints’ lack of intensity, Hartley replied: “I can’t. It’s an individual thing. We thought, with injuries returning, internationals returning, our strongest team on the field...
“You just can’t turn up and expect it to happen. That’s what happened tonight and we got shown up by a good team.”
Saints were made to pay for three missed penalties and a string of handling errors as Ulster moved a step closer to qualification for the knockout stages.
Hartley hailed the Irish side for the pressure they put his men under, but again expressed his disappointment with the performance.
“It’s forced handling errors,” he said. “They put us under a lot of pressure. They created slow ball very well.
“When we were a few points behind, we tried to force it and tried to play. They did exactly what we’d like to do to another team.
“They forced us into errors and it’s what a good team does. It’s not good enough.”