Collins knows he must stay on an upward curve at Saints
After scoring twice in a stunning win at Welford Road back in March, Tom Collins spoke about what he needed to do to stay in the Saints side.
The word consistency was used several times, with the speedy wing insisting he needed to be less up and down and more level if he was to keep his shirt.
But on the following weekend, he was given a torrid time by Clermont Auvergne behemoth Alivereti Raka - who is capable of inflicting misery on any opposite number.
And Collins was then left out of the matchday squad for the key Premiership game against Gloucester, instead finding himself in action for the Wanderers.
He didn’t make the squad against Harlequins either, but after George Furbank sustained concussion at the Stoop, Collins got another chance to shine.
And he certainly took it, scoring a hat-trick in a dazzling first-half display at Newcastle Falcons last Friday.
Saints surged into a 24-3 half-time lead before eventually earning a bonus-point 31-17 success that propelled them into the Premiership top four.
And now Collins and his club have the same aim: to stay put.
“I had a chat with Chris (Boyd) last week and I’ve been frustrated this year because my form’s not quite been there,” Collins said.
“I’ve been so up and down and I couldn’t really put my finger on why that was.
“Chris gave me the opportunity to go out there and prove a point and obviously I want to play for this club because it’s my home club.
“I want to play every week like Rory (Hutchinson) and everyone else and do well.
“It was nice to be given the opportunity and now the biggest thing I’ve got to work on is to keep going up.
“Playing in a team like this with boys like Cobus (Reinach) and Rory is easy to do, but we’ll see how we get on now.”
So how can Collins improve his consistency?
“It’s a mixture of everything,” said the 24-year-old, who has made 72 Saints appearances across seven seasons since coming through the club’s Academy.
“The biggest thing is consistency.
“Some weeks I’m up there and others I’m down so it’s about getting that consistency and getting that seven and a half or eight out of 10 rather than getting a four or a nine.
“It will come, I’m focusing on my own things and it motivates me to get better.”
And Collins is certainly getting the motivation he needs from Saints boss Boyd.
“Chris is really good, we speak and we know where we’re at with each other,” Collins said.
“He’s brutally honest and although sometimes you don’t want to hear it, it’s good because after a week or so you get your head around it and start focusing on stuff.
“It’s good to get the opportunity and we did really well during the first half last Friday.
“We take the win and move on.”
And next up for Saints is a home game against Worcester Warriors on Saturday afternoon.
It is the final Franklin’s Gardens match of the current campaign.
“This week’s a tough one as well,” said Collins.
“It’s our last home game and we want to go out with a bang in front of our home fans as well.
“We’ll keep going.
“We want to get top four, it’s where we’re aiming and we’ll try to get there.”