Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder hailed Dylan Hartley after a "magnificent" performance from his captain.
Hartley played his first match since being sent off in the Aviva Premiership Final at the end of last season against Leicester Tigers against Twickenham.
Having been suspended for the British and Irish Lions tour and offered to resign the captaincy during the off-season, Hartley returned to action with a bang by scoring a try in the second minute of the match.
The England hooker also notably shook hands with referee JP Doyle and the fourth official after leaving the field, as Mallinder praised his change of attitude.
"I thought he was magnificent today. Dylan put in a determined performance today," said Mallinder.
"There has been a lot of talk about him after what happened, but all he can do is play and show what he can do on the field.
"At half-time when we looked at the stats it showed he had covered the most metres in our team.
"He has worked very hard during pre-season, he has had no games, so to come in and play like that shows what sort of player he is. He is our leader because he plays and leads by example."
Mallinder also hailed new signing George North, with the Wales and Lions winger unable to cross the whitewash on his home debut.
"He is a magnificent player, he would love to have scored today, but I am sure that will come, he is so big and strong," added Mallinder.
"I didn't really buy George to get people out of their seats, I brought him here to win games, and he did. If in the meantime people get people off the seats watching him then that is great as well."