Northampton's Jim Mallinder hopes loss spurs on team
Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder says their young players should learn lessons from their heavy defeat by Bath in the LV= Cup.
Saints lost 46-14 at the Recreation Ground, but still top pool four.
Mallinder told BBC Radio Northampton: "A lot of these players needed game time. The experience will stand us in good stead.
"I don't think our defence was good enough and against a side like Bath you're going to be in trouble."
The two sides traded penalties until Bath hooker Ross Batty scored a try late in the first half.
The scoreline moved to 26-9 shortly after the restart following a converted Anthony Perenise try after he broke through the Saints defence when lock Samu Manoa had fumbled the ball.
Saints hit back through Alex Waller but three tries in the space of seven minutes - from Ollie Woodburn, Stephen Donald and Charlie Beech - completed a comfortable win for Bath.
"I think it was a decent first half from us and we were still in the game," said Mallinder.
"In the second half, we conceded a very poor try. We got back in the game by scoring a good one ourselves, but then it got away from us.
"Our set piece did go well, particularly the scrum, and that was a positive area. Some of our driving play and attacking play was good.
"At other times, we carried a bit too high, we didn't get over the advantage line and, defensively, we were a bit off our game.
"It's an experience for them all and it's tough.
"We need to beat Wasps well next well and give ourselves every chance [of qualification]."