Dean Richards believes there is plenty more to come from Newcastle Falcons after the director of rugby saw his troops squeeze past Northampton Saints for a sixth straight home victory in all competitions.
Veteran Andy Goode pulled the strings as he collected 16 points with the boot, ten of those handing hosts Newcastle a 20-11 half-time lead as Alex Tait and Chris Harris went over the whitewash.
Northampton Saints’ first-half try came from Jamie Gibson, and they fought back after the break with two Lee Dickson tries – both converted by replacement JJ Hanrahan – seeing them get to within one point of their hosts.
But the Falcons stole a Saints line out to seal their first back-to-back Aviva Premiership Rugby victories of the season, having downed at Kingston Park Leicester Tigers the game before.
And Richards is adamant this is only just the beginning for his side, as they climbed back up to tenth in the table.
"That last line out steal was quite pleasing," said Richards. "But the quality of our play in the last three or four games has been top drawer and we won today against a quality side – it was one of our best performances.
"We showed lot of character and effort but I think there is a lot more to come from this side.
"I think we missed at least four try-scoring chances but I'm sure Northampton can say the same. At the moment the boys are pretty confident and they are pretty much marshalling themselves which is a good sign."
While Richards and the Falcons are looking up, Northampton Saints are too as they failed to close the gap on the top four.
The Saints are now five points off fourth-placed Harlequins in sixth, with Jim Mallinder rueing a poor start at Kingston Park.
"We conceded too many loose points early on,” Mallinder said. “We talked about playing the full 80 minutes but despite being on top in the forwards we didn't convert that into points often enough.
"A win would have pushed us towards the top four but there is still a long way to go this season – we just need to regroup and sort things out."
Newcastle Falcons: Hammersley; Tait, Harris, Powell (Socino), Watson; Goode, Young (Takulua 67); Vickers, Lawson (McGuigan 66), Vea (Hatakeyama 61), Wilson, Robinson, Wilson, Welch, Mayhew (Hogg 33, Furno 62)
Replacements not used: Rogers, Latu, Willis
Northampton Saints: Foden; Elliott, Burrell, Mallinder, Wilson (Pisi 61); Myler (Hanrahan 47), Dickson (Kessell 71); Waller A (Waller E 72), Haywood, Brookes, Craig (Matfield), Day, Gibson, Wood, Dickinson (Harrison 56)
Replacements not used: Marshall, Denman
Tries: Tait, Harris
Conversions: Goode 2
Penalties: Goode 4
Tries: Gibson, Dickson 2
Conversions: Hanrahan 2
Penalties: Myler 2
Referee: Wayne Barnes