Saracens’ director of rugby Mark McCall admitted his side failed to deal with the occasion after going down 25-16 away to Toulon in the semi-final of the EPCR Challenge Cup.

Gabin Villiere’s try double helped sink Saracens’ dreams of making a first Challenge Cup final as a Ben Earl score and 11 points from the boot of skipper Owen Farrell proved to be insufficient for the Men in Black in their first European semi-final for two years at the Stade Felix Mayol.

Jiuta Wainiqolo scored a terrific try and fly-half Louis Carbonel added two conversions and two penalties as Toulon progressed to their fourth Challenge Cup final where they will face Lyon on 27 May in Marseille.

McCall said: “It didn’t feel like we dealt with the occasion all that well. It was our first time back in an occasion like this.

“We need to see what we can learn from it. I’m not sure who did or who didn’t (play well) but it doesn’t take many for your team to be off.

“Toulon were supercharged tonight, and the crowd was as well. We’ve got four or five weeks left of the season, and we can get something from this experience and take it into the rest of the Premiership season.

“I thought in the first half we got harassed into doing things we didn’t want to do. Our fundamentals weren’t great in the second half.

“Our lineout wasn’t good, and without that foundation and platform it’s very hard to play when you’re up against a team like Toulon who are on fire and as aggressive as they were.”

Captain Farrell was equally disappointed, especially with his side’s display in the first 40, but praised Toulon for their disruptive work at the breakdown.

Immediately after Saturday night’s game, he added: “We are obviously disappointed with the result but probably more with the performance, especially in that first half.

“I feel like we could have given a better account of ourselves, especially in some areas we pride ourselves on. 

“We will have to look inwards now, and we need to make sure it spurs us on for the rest of the season.

“We couldn’t string too much together today. Massive credit to Toulon in the way they defended, and how they slowed down our breakdown in particular.

“It was hard to play against. We need to make sure we figure out why, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“People will feel the way they are feeling tonight, and we will have a look at it tomorrow. We’ll get straight on to it.”