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Boyd: Impressive Saints not yet the finished product

Northampton Saints director of rugby Chris Boyd insists his top-of-the-table side have by no means hit their peak, despite a free-scoring display which blew away East Midlands rivals Leicester Tigers 36-13 on Saturday.

The men in Black, Green and Gold were ruthless on derby day, scoring five tries and coming away with points on almost every visit to the 22, to send themselves back to the summit of the Gallagher Premiership.

Api Ratuniyarawa, Tom Collins and Fraser Dingwall all added to Matt Proctor’s first-half double to ensure Saints wrapped up a try bonus point while beating their rivals for the fourth straight match – the Club’s best run against Tigers in 46 years.

“We’re starting to get a collective style that everyone’s happy with; everyone’s bought into it and we’re getting better at playing it.”

Chris Boyd

But while the performance left pundits and supporters alike waxing lyrical about a rugby renaissance at Franklin’s Gardens, Boyd is adamant Northampton still have plenty of room to grow and will not be taking their foot off the accelerator.

“It’s too early to talk about a transformation, we’re only five games in,” he said. “We’re starting to get a collective style that everyone’s happy with; everyone’s bought into it and we’re getting better at playing it.

“But we spent a lot of time in the off-season around our skills, and you saw how under pressure – both backs and forwards – the passing was pretty reasonable.

“Our game is based around space. As long as we get space, we’ll be ok.

“Saturday was a bit of a trifecta for us. We won, which was important, and we got a bonus point. But I think the icing on the cake was from a performance point of view.

“We’ve often been guilty of getting points but not playing particularly well, but today was one of our better performances this year.

“To get the five points and play well at home in the East Midlands Derby means the supporters go home happy, hopefully.”

Proctor in particular caught the eye on his Premiership debut, scoring twice in the first half to put Saints in the ascendency while also making 134 metres from 14 carries, and beating nine defenders in five clean breaks in 69 minutes of action.

The 27-year-old one-time All Black international played under Boyd at the Hurricanes, and the Kiwi director of rugby was not surprised Proctor took to English rugby like a duck to water.

He added: “As soon as I saw his name on the ‘available’ list, I knew he wasn’t going anywhere else.

“I’ve been watching him play footy since he was about 13 years old and, while he’s not always going to be the flashiest guy around the place, he works really hard, has good touch and knows the game well.

“I think he’s a good acquisition for us and I’m really glad he’s here.”

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