Chris Boyd was delighted as Northampton picked up a valuable 31-26 bonus point win over Gloucester in the Gallagher Premiership match at Kingsholm.
Number eight Shaun Adendorff (2), Taqele Naiyaravoro and Rory Hutchinson got the Saints’ tries, with Dan Biggar kicking three penalties and a conversion.
Willi Heinz and Matias Alemanno crossed for the hosts, with Billy Twelvetrees adding four penalties and two conversions – but the losing point was not enough to lift the Cherry and Whites from the foot of the table.
Director of rugby Boyd said: “We were a little disappointed at half-time as we felt we should have scored more points, although their defence was very good. After five weeks off we were a bit rusty in certain areas.
“They had wind advantage in the second half and after a while we decided to run it back at them – and it paid dividends.
“We targeted their set piece as statistics showed that they have been successful in that area and we succeeded in doing so.”
Chris Boyd is loving life after going 2 months unbeaten with the Northampton Saints… ?
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) January 30, 2021
“Honestly I don’t think we played that badly when we had that long run of losing games but we weren’t able to play consistently well for long enough periods.
“Still it was a very important and valuable win for us here – but one swallow doesn’t make a summer.”
Northampton were buoyed by impressive performances from Wales fly-half Biggar and centre Hutchinson, who scored an excellent solo try and had a leading hand in a couple of others.
Boyd continued: “Dan only returned to us on Thursday but he is key in driving us on in respect of standards. He’s good for us and is in good form.
“Rory is one of the more creative midfielders in the league and he brings so much to our attack.”
It was Gloucester’s sixth defeat in seven league matches and that fact will be worrying for head coach George Skivington, who saw his side throw away a 19-11 lead.
Skivington said: “Obviously it’s frustrating and as professionals we will analyse what went wrong with our set piece.
“We got more flustered than I would have liked as we made too many errors. We were a little better in getting into attacking positions than recently but then our set piece didn’t function.”
“We are aware of the discussions concerning relegation, or not, in our league but we are not talking about that and are just concentrating on improving and hopefully picking up some wins.”
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