Paul Doran-Jones says the Saints players felt like they’d suffered a defeat after conceding 28 points in the final 20 minutes of their win against Worcester on Saturday.
Jim Mallinder’s men had been cruising at 37-3 up but they left the door open for the Warriors, who had previously shown little to suggest they could get back into the game.
The away side scored four tries in the final flings of the game to leave Saints, who had emptied their bench, slightly red-faced.
And Doran-Jones admitted there was a strange feeling in the dressing room after the game as he and his team-mates considered what had gone wrong in a match they eventually won 37-31.
“We were a bit shell-shocked after,” said the England prop. “It felt like we came off a loss but in the first 60 minutes we played some awesome stuff.
“We talked about defending with pride and we sort of went away from that and we were slinging the ball about too much.
“They had nothing to lose, started to play a wider game and we tried to match them. It’s not really what we train as and what we do.
“We’ve got a lot of success from sticking to the script, hitting our targets in midfield and getting around the corner - we somehow went away from that.
“Fair play to them, they played some great stuff towards the end and we were hanging on.”
But as they say – it doesn’t matter how you win, as long as you win.
And Saints can still boast a 100 per cent record after claiming their fourth victory in as many Premiership games this season.
“It’s a great start for us and it’s what we targeted,” said Doran-Jones. “It’s what we’ve been working for all summer so we’re happy with that.
“What is good is that we’re winning and not playing our best stuff for 80 minutes so if we can find an 80-minute performance we’ll be pretty dangerous.
“We’ll look to build on the weekend’s win this week and in the coming weeks and then we’ll see where we are.”