Six penalties from Stephen Myler helped Northampton edge out Worcester 18-17 at Sixways to claim four vital Premiership points on Friday.
After the two week break from the Premiership, both sides came into this game looking to gain some momentum heading into the next block of fixtures.
It was Warriors who opened the scoring with a 45 metre penalty courtesy of young fly-half Jamie Shillcock. Northampton levelled shortly after with an easy three points from veteran fly-half Myler.
Warriors scored the first try of the evening a few minutes later. A missed tackle in midfield cost the Saints dearly as Cooper Vuna found Dean Hammond to dot down.
Despite Warriors having a period of good attacking pressure, it was Northampton who came away with the next score. Myler slotting his second penalty of the evening six minutes before half-time.
A third Myler penalty a minute before half-time reduced the Warriors lead to a single point.
Northampton started the second-half as they finished the first, with Myler slotting another penalty to give Saints the lead for the first time in the game. Worcester's Ryan Mills was also shown yellow for hands in the ruck.
Jim Mallinder's men continued to chip away at the Warriors, Myler's fifth penalty extended their lead to five points.
The hosts had a 15 minute spell camped in Northampton's 22, but were unable to come away with a score, even having a possible try ruled out by the TMO.
After weathering the Warriors storm, Myler kicked another three points from the tee to take Northampton out of single score range with six minutes left on the clock. But, at the death Worcester secured their losing bonus point. A wonderful break from the Warriors was finished off by a returning Bryce Heem.
Northampton's Calum Clark was also shown a yellow card for a scrap after the try. The referee awarded a penalty from kick-off and Shillcock went for the penalty and possibly the win. But to the despair of the Sixways faithful, his attempt went agonisingly wide and handed Northampton the victory.
Tries: Hammond, Heem
Cons: Shillcock 2
Pens: Myler 6
Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Dean Hammond, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 Jamie Shillcock, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Phil Dowson (c), 7 Carl Kirwan, 6 Dewald Potgieter, 5 Darren Barry, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Niall Annett, 1 Val Rapava Ruskin
Replacements: 16 Jack Singleton, 17 Na'ama Leleimalefaga, 18 Mike Daniels, 19 Andrew Kitchener, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Josh Adams, 23 Bryce Heem
Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 Luther Burrell, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 James Wilson, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Sam Dickinson (c), 7 Calum Clark, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Christian Day, 4 Michael Paterson, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 Charlie Clare, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 James Craig, 20 Ben Nutley, 21 Tom Kessell, 22 Sam Olver, 23 Tom Collins
Referee: Greg Macdonald
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix, Peter Allan
TMO: Geoff Warren