Exeter coach Rob Baxter accused his team of showing a “soft” side as their Champions Cup hopes were crushed by defeat to Glasgow Warriors.
The home side won 28-21 at Scotstoun to knock the English champions out of Europe.
Baxter said: “I’m very disappointed. Not because we lost, not because Europe has slipped away. I’m disappointed because there were too many times today when we weren’t as good as we needed to be.”
Glasgow took the lead with a try from Stuart Hogg in the second minute and Baxter focused on that as an indication of where his side’s weakness had been.
“We were soft early in the game. We didn’t number up on the blind side; we were all over the place,” he said.
The teams had gone in for half-time level at 7-7 and Baxter felt at the time Exeter were well placed to push on for victory.
They were reduced to 14 men, however, after 53 minutes when Nic White was yellow-carded and Glasgow went ahead with a penalty try.
Baxter focused on what happened next as Glasgow scored two tries.
“Did we get energised as you need to when a man down? Their tries were fantastically well taken,” he said. “But did we really stand in front of them like a brick wall? We got picked off by length-of-the-field tries and if you give up length-of-the-field tries you are not going to win many games.”
Baxter would not focus on the yellow card, saying: “I’m not massively bothered about the refereeing decisions. I’m bothered about us. I’m bothered about our performance.”
Glasgow coach Dave Rennie was left disappointed with Glasgow’s overall European performance. They finished bottom of Pool Three, with Saturday’s success their first win.
“We’re going to look back and say we’re last in the pool despite today,” Rennie said.
“We still feel that if we had been sharp the first time we played them we could have got a win, and I still feel we should have won both those Montpellier games. You have to be good enough to take your chances and we weren’t.”
He acknowledged his side had done well to come through in the second half after Exeter had dominated the first.
“It was a great response,” said Rennie. “You saw that we are a fit side considering that we lost Alex Dunbar, Matt Smith and George Turner all before half-time.”