Director of rugby Chris Boyd admitted that despite his side not being at their best, he was relieved to come away with four points from a nail-biting encounter with Bath Rugby on Saturday.
The men in Black, Green and Gold recorded their seventh consecutive victory at home in all competitions, as David Ribbans’ try in added time was converted by James Grayson to secure a 27-26 win.
Saints started on the front foot, but scores from Ruaridh McConnochie and Zach Mercer – as well as the unerring boot of Rhys Priestland – saw Bath leading going into the closing stages at Franklin’s Gardens.
Rory Hutchinson and Alex Mitchell both crossed to keep Saints in the hunt, but it was down to Ribbans to crash over with the clock in the red to snatch a famous victory.
And Boyd tipped his cap to some stern defence from Bath in the face of a Northampton side that had been scoring for fun in recent weeks.
“I’m really pleased from an outcome point of view but we’re not really ecstatic about the performance,” he said.
“It was a bit sloppy, but at the end of the day we’re delighted to get four points at home in that middle of the table fight and it was really important.
"At the end of the day we’re delighted to get four points at home, it was really important."Chris Boyd
“With a few minutes to go if we didn’t get across the line, I would have attributed that Bath victory to some really good defence.
“There were some occasions when I thought we’ve got them behind and should score here and we didn’t.
“I thought their scramble defence was outstanding, both sides worked really hard and there was a lot of intent.
“Both sides were a little bit inaccurate and a little bit sloppy at times, so it wasn’t a great spectacle from a purist point of view, but from the ebb and flow of emotion then 27-26 is a decent outcome.”
Saints have moved up to fifth in the Gallagher Premiership table having won four of their last five league fixtures.
However, Boyd warned his team to keep collecting points given how congested the league table has become this season.
He added: “We just want to keep finding opportunities to collect points and we’ve got a big occasion next week against Saracens.
“As we’ve seen with other results, I think there’s a genuine pack in the middle of this competition.
“The difference between perhaps being fourth and tenth is probably not going to be very much at the end of the season, and everyone has been saying that all year, so we need to keep going week after week.”