Bath head coach Mike Ford believed the 43-25 to Northampton was a good test for his team against the Premiership's elite.
Making a run at the top four for the first time in a few years, Bath scored three tries at Franklin's Gardens but according to Ford struggled to maintain their composure at key moments in the match.
Losing prop Paul James to the sin-bin played a decisive role, as Bath fell nine points behind Northampton in the league.
"We needed to know where we are. Northampton are used to playing these big games, whereas in the last few years we have not been playing as a top-four team against another top-four team," Ford told the Bath Chronicle.
"We have to control our emotions. We didn't quite do that.
"In that period when we had a man sin-binned we lost the niggle battle, lost our composure a little bit, got on the wrong side of the referee and brought their crowd into it.
"We need to learn that when the stakes are high and it's a massive game, to be able to be on the edge but still keep our composure.
"Northampton and Saracens both got bonus point wins today and they are probably up and above everyone else in the league at the moment.
"They are outstanding but I wouldn't say that is done and dusted yet. To challenge them two you'd have to go on another run, which certainly can be done. There's a lot of football to be played."
Ford also commented on Bath's surprisingly leaky defence, which had only conceded 14 tries in ten league matches before Saturday's loss.
"Over the last six weeks we have defended really well and even with a man in the sin-bin I expect us to defend better, but we didn't," added Ford.
"They scored three tries pretty much on the bounce in that first-half period after we were 13-0 up, which is disappointing.
"We needed to come out in the second half and get a foothold in the game but we let in the bonus-point try, which was really soft. It's pretty hard to come back then.
"There were bits and pieces where we played well. I am proud of the performance in terms of when we did have ball in hand we were dangerous.
"There are a lot of things to look at but I am a positive, glass-half-full type of guy and there were a lot of good things out there today."