Despite defeat in the Champions Cup quarter-final, Dan Biggar was encouraged to see a number of young teammates rediscover their mojo at Sandy Park.
While their hard work ultimately didn’t come to fruition against the Chiefs, the fly-half says the side certainly started back on an upward curve.
“It’s difficult to admit defeat being a positive, but given the run we’ve been on in the last few weeks it was a very much improved performance,” Biggar told BBC Radio Northampton.
“It was good to see some of the boys back to a bit of form and with some swag about them, because that’s what’s made us so good over the last 18 months – young boys with confidence, expressing themselves – and we obviously need a bit more of that."
"It was good to see some of the boys back to a bit of form and with some swag about them, because that’s what’s made us so good over the last 18 months."Dan Biggar
A solid first half in Devon gave Chris Boyd’s men hope, but Biggar admitted a strong and well-drilled Exeter side were a step too far on this occasion.
“I felt the scoreline maybe flattered them a bit towards the end, but if we’re being honest they came out in that second half, controlled the game and just had a bit too much power for us,” he continued.
“We came to the home of the best team in England, by some distance, and really pushed them up to half-time – if we’re honest we probably should have gone in ahead and were a little bit unfortunate not to. The way we played, we didn’t exert too much energy in the back-field and we looked to play a little bit more in the right areas, given the elements.
“It’s been a step in the right direction and hopefully we can build on that. Obviously defeats are tough to take, but I think that was a fair bit better from us today.”
Attentions now turn to Saints’ final pair of Gallagher Premiership fixtures, starting with Sale under the Gardens lights next Tuesday.
While the absence of the passionate home support is something Biggar is finding hard to adapt to, the Welsh international is adamant that the team have just one thing on their minds.
“We’ve got one more game at home and we need to win that. Our home form has been nowhere near good enough and we need to build some momentum going into next season. We can hopefully draw a line under the period since we’ve been back and know that we’ve got a fair bit of work to do to get better for next year.
“I have to say I’ve found it really difficult without crowds since the restart and that’s not helped. It’s hard in warm-ups and you sometimes find yourself a little bit flat. The sooner we can get crowds back in safely, the better.”