Northampton Saints sealed a try bonus-point after just 35 minutes as they dished out a 38-11 hammering on Exeter Chiefs.
Northampton Saints sealed a try bonus-point after just 35 minutes as they dished out a 38-11 hammering on Exeter Chiefs at Franklin's Gardens.
The bonus-point was secured by half-time as Dylan Hartley, Ken Pisi, Tom Wood and George Pisi all crossed for the Saints.
Fly-half Stephen Myler converted all four tries and also added a penalty as they racked up a 31-6 lead at the break.
All the Chiefs could muster in the first half was two Gareth Steenson three-pointers before Dean Mumm went over for a consolation effort after the interval. But the hosts added gloss to the scoreline when Samu Manoa powered across the whitewash.
Although Northampton's two star signings, George North and Alex Corbisiero, started, it was the returning Hartley that made the headlines early on.
After coming back from an 11-week ban for abusing referee Wayne Barnes in last season's Premiership final, the England hooker went over after two minutes.
Steenson immediately responded for the visitors but Northampton were in inspirational form as a Myler three-pointer and then Ken Pisi increased their lead, despite being down to 14 men after Phil Dowson's sin-binning.
Wood was next to go over before Exeter's stand-off gave them a brief respite with a second kick from the tee.
However, the onslaught continued when Ken's brother, George, crossed the whitewash to give the Saints a comfortable half-time advantage. But they failed to build on that after the break as Exeter battled back.
Courtney Lawes became the second player to be yellow carded and Mumm powered over.
Northampton did have the final word, though, when Manoa touched down with seven minutes remaining.
For Northampton Saints:
Tries: Hartley, K.Pisi, Wood, G.Pisi, Manoa
Cons: Myler 4
Yellow Card: Lawes
For Exeter Chiefs:
Pens: Steenson 2
Northampton Saints 15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Sam Dickinson, 7 Phil Dowson, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Tom Mercey, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Samu Manoa, 20 Calum Clark, 21 Kahn Fotuali'i, 22 James Wilson, 23 Jamie Elliott.
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Matt Jess, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Tom James, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Dave Ewers, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Dean Mumm (c), 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Chris Whitehead, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Carl Rimmer, 19 Tom Hayes, 20 Ben White, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Sam Hill.
Referee: JP Doyle