Newcastle Falcons boss Dean Richards believes his side’s lack of belief held the key to Saints’ comprehensive success at Kingston Park on Sunday.
Falcons were beaten 35-10 on their own turf as tries from Will Hooley, Alex Waller, Ken Pisi and George North earned a bonus-point victory for Jim Mallinder’s men.
Saints had a slick first-half display to thank for the win as they racked up three of their scores before the break.
And Richards, who saw his team lose their 19th successive Aviva Premiership game and ninth in a row against Northampton, feels it was the absence of confidence that did for the Falcons.
“We sat down at half-time and said we had to front up and that’s what we did, but I wish we had done that in the first half,” he said.
“I don’t think they (Saints) necessarily took their foot off the gas because they needed that fourth try and the bonus point. We were just disappointed with how we turned up.
“Our exits weren’t great, we didn’t do what we said we were going to do and our work rate in that first 30 minutes was woeful, but having said that, we sat down at half-time and said we wanted to take something out of the game.
“You could see that in the way we played in the second half, it was just a bit of belief that they didn’t play with in that first 30 minutes.
“They are a good side but we showed in that final 50 minutes that if you make your tackles and are clinical and accurate in what you’re doing, we’re a match for them. We weren’t in that first 30 and we gifted them three easy tries.”