Technically Northampton Saints came from behind to inflict Worcester’s worst ever premiership defeat. In the early stages of the game Will Chudley responded to Dan Biggar’s opening score for Saints with a converted try for the visitors.
So very briefly the score stood at 5-7 but it never really felt like that kind of game as Worcester had to field a team depleted of its grizzled old decision makers while Saints bristled with the hard-earned potential of young players maturing into their roles all over the pitch.
Alex Mitchell was awarded Player of the Match for a display that crackled with danger at nine but all through the backs there were sterling performances from the likes of Dingwall, Hutchinson and Biggar.
If sides are now wary of the threat from the Sleighthome express, Saints opponents now have a new tormentor on the other wing to deal with in the shape of newly arrived Springbok Courtnall Skosan who only went and scored a hat-trick on his debut.
By the time the first half-hour was up the bonus point was earned and Worcester looked ready to jump on the first available westward bound transport out of town.
Pictures by Dave Ikin
If there were any worries for the home side it is the injury list as the last ten minutes saw a game of musical chairs play out that had Mitchell on the wing, kicking duties shared out as Biggar limped around the field and Piers Francis on the sidelines after a failed head injury assessment.
My favourite try was made by Fraser Dingwall swerving through the despondent Warriors midfield and within sight of the line generously flicking the ball into the hands of Tommy Freeman who collected the score. Dingwall probably cost himself a spot in a YouTube compilation of great solo tries with that gesture but it should be a learning moment for the exuberant Freeman who let a scoring chance go begging earlier in the game by hanging on to the ball a fraction of a second too long. You cannot criticise Freeman too much however because he plays with a smile on his face and his positivity is as much an asset as his pace and strength.
On paper this was always going to be a tough game for Worcester but for Saints this is really a reward for patient months of rebuilding and keeping faith with a young squad bristling with possibilities.
The next challenge is of course THE challenge, the East Midlands derby against resurgent Leicester. Our performance in that game will flavour the whole season no matter what else happens and if the god of injuries smiles kindly on Saints, it should be a great contest.