Northampton employed a similar game plan in last month's quarter-final win over Ulster and Freshwater admitted it made life hard for his side in the final four.
"Northampton were too fast and too strong," said the 37-year-old former England international.
"We did a lot of defending and a lot of running around. I think that was very smart of Northampton to do that us against us old, fat fellas.
"I found it hard going out there because it was hot, even though I'm used to those conditions now. I thought Northampton were very good on the day. They were very smart and very intense.
"They ran us around for a lot and we defended for a lot of the game. I think towards the end we were certainly outpowered."
This season was just the second time Perpignan had reached the knockout stages since their Final defeat to Toulouse eight years ago and Freshwater believes this particular group have definitely taken a step forward.
But while winning a group that included English giants Leicester and then an historic quarter-final against Toulon in Barcelona was definitely a step in the right direction, that can't hide the hurt of a semi-final defeat.
Losing in the last four is a painful feeling but it's one Freshwater feels his side can have no real complaints about experiencing.
"I think we're getting better in Europe. But I've spoken about the Barcelona win over Toulon. I'd said, 'Let's make sure this isn't our final,' but I guess it was," added Freshwater.
"We're disappointed. We didn't turn up and there's no complaints.
"They didn't surprise us but we didn't play too smart. We kicked a lot to Ben Foden: he's a good counter attacker and we struggled to get out of our own half. We were defending for most of the game.
"In the first half we didn't really get our teeth into them. We started off really well but we lost a crucial lineout down by their 22. We'd wanted to drive that lineout but we lost it.
"Then we just lost our shape completely. And when that happens with us, it's pretty ugly."