Northampton cruised to a 40-14 victory over London Irish on Saturday, running in five tries including a hat-trick for Jamie Elliott.
Tom Homer's penalty in the sixth minute gave London Irish an early lead, but their advantage lasted barely two minutes as Jamie Elliott crossed for his first try.
Stephen Myler's conversion made it 7-3 and it remained that way until the closing minutes of the first half, when two Homer penalties appeared to have given the visitors an unlikely lead.
The Saints had other ideas, however, and there remained time for them to add a second try and wrestle the lead back away from the Exiles. Samu Manoa had played an integral role for Northampton in the first half and he was rewarded with a try ahead of the half-time whistle, converted by Myler.
Soane Tonga'uiha then struck a hammer blow for the hosts during the opening five minutes of the second half, crossing for Northampton's third try of the afternoon.
Myler's third successful conversion made it 21-9, and suddenly Irish were left with a mountain to climb.
To their credit, the concession of that score prompted the visitors into life, but their frustrations would only be added to during the period that followed as first Gerrit-Jan Van Velze crossed for Myler to convert and shortly afterwards Elliott added a second try to extinguish any hope London Irish harboured of a comeback in the final quarter of the game.
The visitors did get over the whitewash in the final minutes through Guy Armitage, but it was too little, too late, and fittingly Northampton had the final say, as Elliott nipped in for a well-deserved hat-trick try.
Though Elliott's feat will provide the enduring memory, the effort of home hooker Dylan Hartley cannot be overlooked, as Saints out-muscled and out-thought their opponents at Sixfields.
Tries: Elliott 3, Manoa, Tonga'uiha, Van Velze
Cons: Myler 4, Lamb
For London Irish:
Pens: Homer 3
Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 James Wilson, 13 George Pisi, 12 Tom May, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson,8 GJ van Velze, 7 Phil Dowson, 6 Samu Manoa, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Tom Mercey, 2 Dylan Hartley (coffee), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Ross McMillan, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Brian Mujati, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 Ben Nutley, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Dom Waldouck.
London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Guy Armitage, 12 Shane Geraghty, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Pat Phibbs, 8 Jon Fisher, 7 Ofisa Treviranus, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Bryn Evans (coffee), 4 George Skivington, 3 Halani Aulika, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Max Lahiff.
Replacements: 16 David Paice, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Leo Halavatau, 19 Kieran Low, 20 Jebb Sinclair, 21 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 22 Setaimata Sa, 23 Jack Moates.
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Gareth Copsey, Nigel Carrick