Jim Mallinder admitted Saints’ first-half display was a disappointment as his side suffered a 26-25 defeat at Newcastle Falcons on Sunday afternoon.
Saints headed in 20-11 down at the break, with Alex Tait’s try and Andy Goode’s assured boot putting Falcons in control.
The home side were 26-11 up when Goode added another two penalties early in the second period, but Mallinder’s men fought back with Lee Dickson’s double.
However, it wasn’t to be enough as Saints squandered a late lineout and Falcons booted the ball out to secure a sixth successive home win in all competitions.
“It’s disappointing to lose a close game of rugby,” Mallinder said.
“We did some decent bits, our set piece went pretty well, we did nice bits in attack, but some of our exits were poor, we didn’t get out of our half accurately enough, particularly at the start of the second half.
“Defensively, we let them score a couple of weak tries.
“We came back well, but it’s disappointing to lose.”
And on the first-half deficit, Mallinder, whose side had been seeking a third straight league win, added: “I am disappointed in the first half.
“They were tricky conditions out there - the wind was swirling around - but you’ve got to cope with it.
“We didn’t have the control that we needed.”