Phil Dowson praised Saints’ front five for making sure the team bounced back in style by beating Saracens.
Dowson skippered his side to a superb 31-24 victory at Allianz Park on Sunday, with the visiting pack laying the foundations for the success.
It was a far cry from the events of nine days earlier, when Exeter Chiefs shocked Saints at Franklin’s Gardens.
And Dowson was delighted with how his team-mates responded to that setback.
“I would have to say that first half performance was as good as the first half performance was bad last week,” said the experienced flanker.
“The tight five were exceptional: the front row, Christian Day and James Craig coming back. Those guys get you on the front foot, those guys get you into the game and everything else follows from that.
“All the credit goes to the big boys up front, who were under pressure last week and they were asked to step up. In the first half, we saw a great reaction.”
Saints were 25-8 up at the break, with two James Wilson scores and one from Dowson putting them firmly in the ascendancy.
And although Saracens fought back, Jim Mallinder’s men held firm to secure a win that moved them back to the top of the Aviva Premiership table.
“The performance didn’t surprise me,” said Dowson. “Sometimes you get halves like that when it goes your way and I wasn’t surprised - I was just pretty pleased.”