Now sitting at the top of the Aviva Premiership table after five rounds, Saints collected their fourth consecutive win as they defeated Harlequins 30-22 in a tightly fought clash at Franklin's Gardens yesterday afternoon.
Jim Mallinder said that the closeness of the contest was frustrating for Saints but that the game has given the side plenty to work on as they begin preparations for their trip to Gloucester next weekend.
"It was nervous all the way through, right from the start of the game," Mallinder commented after the final whistle.
"Giving them that interception and letting them come through, conceding that try just before half time as well is obviously not a good time to concede, and then into that second half where they pulled back and were within a score of winning.
"I think the bench came on and did a really good job; we tightened up the game, the scrum went well, Stephen Myler kicked a nice goal at the end. We're very, very pleased to win.
"It was an eventful game. I think when you play against Harlequins, whatever side they've got out, they've got some quality players and they've got some creative, adventurous players as well and they're always capable of doing things you don't quite expect."
With Saints now topping the Aviva Premiership table after collecting their fourth straight win, Mallinder says that while the position is a pleasing one for Saints, the side are clear that it is still very early days in the season and that they want to keep improving.
"We're very pleased. We know that we're only five games into the season and it would be stupid for us to get too carried away.
"It wasn't Championship winning form out there today but its winning form and we're going in the right direction. We're building and hopefully we'll keep improving."
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