Juan Pablo Socino admitted Saracens’ players let themselves down in their shock defeat at Cornish Pirates on the opening weekend of the Championship season.

The three-time European champions travelled to the West Country as firm favourites to seal an immediate return to the Premiership following last season’s enforced relegation but found a home side in the mood to show them the size of the task that awaits.

Rhodri Davies’ try four minutes from time sealed a dramatic 25-17 victory for the hosts to leave a star-studded Sarries side licking their wounds.

Socino, whose four appearances for Argentina made up a minority of the 165 international caps in the visiting XV, said: "Obviously we are really disappointed. It is not the result we wanted and, more importantly, not the performance we wanted.

"First game, we knew it was going to be tough.

"We let ourselves down a little bit with our performance but we move on to the next game."

The visitors started well at Mennaye Field and took a 10-8 lead into the interval courtesy of tries from Sean Maitland and Alex Lewington, with Tom Duncan replying for Pirates.

A rollercoaster second half began with Dan Frost barging over to put the hosts in front before Sarries replied through Tim Swinson’s score, converted by Manu Vunipola.

Back came the Cornish side, who re-took the lead through Luke Scully’s penalty and sealed a famous victory when Davies pounced on an up-and-under which the visitors had let bounce.

Saracens will now look to bounce back against Jersey Reds next weekend and they’ll have to start winning quickly in a shortened 10-game season if they are to achieve their expected promotion.

A defiant Socino added: "It is just one game. It is a short season and we just need to keep going.”