The Saints have been struggling of late and were always going to be tough opponents in their desperate quest for points at the foot of the table. However, we held firm and eventually came out on top with a good all round display.
It was a game which was pretty reminiscent of 10 or 15 years ago - a full-bloodied encounter with plenty of off-the-ball incident. It was interesting to see how the boys would react to the Northampton approach, but it was pleasing to see them go forward and take the game to the Saints.
Losing Stuart Abbott through concussion so early was a big blow to us, but still we showed our mettle with Andy Gomarsall giving us the lead. We kept that slight advantage until half-time where a few words were said, although the boys responded by out-scoring the Saints two tries to one in the second half.
Winger David Strettle took a lot of the plaudits for his display and playing like that, he must be in the running for international honours with Brain Ashton, I know, looking at him. He seems to be doing all the right things at the moment and I think with his tactical awareness, finishing and defensive work, he has the potential to go a long way.
Although David was officially man-of-the-match, I think it's wrong to pick out any one individual for what was a good all-round team performance. The back row were outstanding, while the pack proved to be the main difference between the sides. The centre partnership was pleasing and in our captain Paul Volley, I thought we had the best player on the pitch.
This was our first win at Northampton for ten years and it was a key one with such a tough period ahead of us. We have all of the top five to play in the coming weeks and we are under no illusions about the task ahead.
That said, we go into the period full of confidence and there's no reason why we can't make life very difficult for the title chasers and have a big say on the destination of the trophy, while finishing as high as we possibly can.
On the England front, it was pleasing that none of Brian Ashton's starting XV suffered any injuries over the weekend, but I can certainly understand his frustration that a large number were selected for their club sides yesterday.
Those who played in the Sunday games will not now be available for training until Tuesday afternoon or even Wednesday morning for their crunch game with Ireland this Saturday. Unfortunately, as Brian knows, that's life I'm afraid and it's just something he's got to cope with.
Finally, it's great to see the Harlequins Rugby League team doing so well. They were probably disappointed to draw their game with Salford on Saturday, but it's pleasing to see them still unbeaten at the top end of the table.
During week commencing 22nd April Harlequins will launch an innovative, new Membership Scheme which will replace the existing Season Ticket Holder Programme. Further details of the scheme will be announced in due course.