Connacht coach Pat Lam says his side will have to redeem themselves in the league after a humiliating 11-try thrashing.
Their shock win away to Toulouse gave them a chance of reaching the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup for the first time but they were well out of their depth against the English leaders.
Lam, whose side are rooted to the bottom of the RaboDirect PRO12, fell to pieces in the second half and were punished for dreadful defending as Sarries ran riot.
“We know Saracens are top of the Premiership and are a good side and we had to play as a team to have a chance.
“We turned around at 18-6 and still in the game, but in the second half missed tackles made it difficult for us,” said Lam.
He had warned in advance that it would be ‘a long day at the office’ if his men did not front up and make their tackles count.
But with Nathan White lucky to escape with a yellow card for a stamp, Saracens did not spare Lam’s men in a second half slaughter.
Two penalties from Dan Parks kept Connacht in touch as Chris Ashton got the first of Saracen’s tries.
David Strettle, overlooked for the England Six Nations squad in midweek got the first of his hat-trick just before the break with Schalk Brits crossing to make it 18-6 at the break.
But it proved all one-way traffic after the restart with schoolboy defending being punished by eight tries as Connacht fell to their heaviest Heineken Cup defeat.
And with stories emerging yesterday of a €900,000 budget deficit, this embarrassing defeat was the last thing Lam and Connacht needed.
“Obviously it’s disappointing and we’re not proud of ourselves. Especially in that second half.
“But these sort of things happen in rugby. Momentum builds, you fall off tackles and collisions. A missed tackle costs us badly, a dropped pass costs us badly, missing the lineout costs us badly. Effectively, it all happened at once.
“We have to get ourselves off the deck now. After days like this, it’s about what you do afterwards.
“They are some proud boys and they’re hurting badly. They know they’ve let our fans down. We now have to get back up. That’s life; you face these challenges, every rugby player has. It’s not nice at the time but it’s what you do from here that really counts,” added Lam.
Scorers – Saracens: Ashton 2, Strettle 3, Brits, Goode, Kruis, Wyles, Wray, Johnston tries; Hodgson 3 cons, 1pen. Connacht: Parks 2 pens.