Nic Groom earned the home headlines after making an eye-catching impact in his first competitive run-out in black, green and gold, but admitted that it was a “bitter-sweet” debut for the Saints.
The scrum-half came on in the second half of the Aviva Premiership opener against Bath in the worst possible situation for his side, trailing 18-0 to a west country outfit that owed all their points to George Ford.
However when Groom grabbed two tries inside the last 10 minutes it not only gave Saints a losing bonus point but also an outside chance of what would have been the most unlikely of wins, had they managed to turn more possession in the final seconds into a concerted attack.
This did not happen, and while Groom will remember his first outing for his new club he told SaintsTV it was for a number of reasons.
“I was very happy to get to play in front of the crowd here at Franklin’s Gardens and to get my first game for Saints,” he said. “But at the same time obviously we would have loved to come away with the win.
“We’d been speaking during the week about my role and I had a good, clear message. I needed to speed things up, get our attack going a bit and to get into the right place at the right time for opportunistic moments.
“It was the sort of game where things could have changed and the ball could have bounced our way at any stage. It happened towards the end there and that’s about it.”
The Saints now face two weeks on the road at Bristol and Saracens, and Groom says that the team can build on some aspects of their play, not least the defensive effort which kept Bath from crossing the whitewash themselves.
“There were some good moments for us today, our defence was really good,” the South African added. “We had some moments in the game where if we’d capitalised then it would have been a completely different game. There are games like this when you walk away winners and it wasn’t the case for us today. Bath capitalised on their momentum better than us and were smarter.
“For us it’s a case of coming back in next week, putting in a huge effort, putting things right and getting things back on track.”