The Aviva Premiership’s two form teams go head-to-head at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday and Stephen Myler knows Northampton Saints must be at their destructive best to prevail.
Saints host Bath Rugby and both sides head into the clash on a five-match winning run in the Aviva Premiership, sitting second and third respectively.
The visitors have been particularly miserly in defence in recent weeks preventing the opposition from crossing the whitewash in three of their last four games.
And Saints fly-half Myler knows it is no accident that Bath are keeping up pace with the league leaders at the half-way stage.
“Bath are not in the league position they find themselves in by accident,” he said.
“It is always tough going against them and we have had some good games against Bath in recent seasons so we will have to be sure we are at the top of our game.
“It is second versus third so it is a massive game and we will face them knowing that we have got to play well to get a result.
“Even though we are at home and we have been strong at home so far this season we will be taking nothing for granted.
“Bath are flying high deservedly and we are aware that it is no fluke and that we will have to be at the top of our game if we want to get anything out of them.”
Bath go into the game knowing a win could move them into second – but they will have to end Saints’ 100 per cent home record in the league to do so.
Back row Carl Fearns played an important role in last weekend’s win against Harlequins, but he knows this weekend, and the Leicester Tigers clash in the New Year, will require another step up.
“We are flying high at the moment but we still want to improve and get better with every performance,” said Fearns.
“Even though we beat Harlequins which was great, we were still pretty annoyed that it was 14-3 and that we didn’t put more points on them so there is still more to come.
“We need to keep working hard and these next two games are massive for us as well because Northampton and Leicester will be up there with us.
“We can look back after these two games and see where we are but we will be doing all we can to continue our good start to the season.
“Northampton are flying right now and they will be a tough battle up front. They have got a lot of hard runners and a great set piece so we are expecting a really tough game.
“It is a great challenge for us and as a pack and as a team we are looking forward to it.”
Referee: Luke Pearce (20th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix & Kevin Stewart. TMO: Keith Lewis