Alan Gaffney's Saracens side got an early taste of Grand Slam fever as they missed out on a first cup final since 1998 when they were put to the sword by the Ospreys in the EDF Energy Cup semi-final at the Millennium Stadium.
Returning to the ground where so many of them had helped Wales to clinch a 10th Grand Slam the previous weekend, the Ospreys ran in four tries in a convincing 30-3 win to set-up a repeat final against Leicester Tigers at Twickenham.
It was a game that allowed the Ospreys to lay down a marker ahead of the Heineken Cup quarter-final meeting between the two sides at Vicarage Road on Sunday, 6 April.
Saracens lost two of their most influential players, skipper and scrum half Neil De Koch and All Blacks lock Chris Jack, through injuries in the first-half, but Gaffney was left in no doubt as to who will start as favourites in two weeks time.
"We didn't need a slice of luck, we needed five more players. A lot of our players were unaware of the quality of the Ospreys, but there is little doubt they will know they are a good side after this," said Gaffney.
"We have to treat this game as a learning curve because they were by far the better side. That was the biggest hammering we've had since I've been at Saracens.
"But we believe we can turn it around in the Heineken Cup. It will be some return match."
Gaffney is sweating on the left arm injury suffered by Jack. He went to hospital for x-rays after the game on Saturday.
Ospreys coach Lyn Jones was reading little into the result ahead of his side's trip to Vicarage Road.
"This was a one off and home advantage will play a big part in the next game," he said.
Ospreys and Wales skipper Ryan Jones was full of praise for his side and believes they are now ready to make the step up to a new level.
"We have really grown and matured as a team. It was bitterly disappointing to lose in the final of the EDF Energy Cup last year, but we learned from that experience," he said.
"Now we believe we can go one step further. We also believe we can go on and win in Europe as well."
The directors of ERC voted unanimously at a Board meeting to postpone all decisions including the release of further instalments of ERC's distributable central revenues to the six shareholder countries until 19 February next when the Board will meet again to reconsider the issue.