Harlequins boss Conor O’Shea admits his team were far from at their best as they crashed out of the Amlin Challenge Cup at Saints on Friday night.
O’Shea’s men carried little threat as Northampton sealed an 18-10 victory that secured a place in the May 23 Cardiff showpiece.
Nick Easter did respond for Harlequins in the second half, but they were unable to get any further reward from a sturdy Saints defence.
And the Quins boss felt his team, who had gone into the game on the back of an impressive 24-20 win against Leicester, failed to bring their A game.
“We’ll just look at the little bits of execution,” said O’Shea. “We’re disappointed because we worked hard.
“You get better from playing and we had a lot of young boys playing and we never stopped trying. We never gave up.
“We’ll lick our wounds and go to Exeter. We’re in the Champions Cup for next year, we’ve got that ticked and we want to get into the top four.
“We’ve been playing excellent rugby during the past few weeks, didn’t bring that tonight, but we know exactly what we need to do.
“We’ll go out and hopefully we can earn another big game of knock-out rugby in the Premiership.
“Northampton earned their win tonight. The game could have been different had the little things happened for us, but they didn’t.”