Mallinder happy to land early blow
Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder welcomed an "outstanding result" after Saints claimed a 13-6 Aviva Premiership win over Harlequins.
Centre James Wilson crossed for the decisive try in the 63rd minute and fly-half Stephen Myler kicked eight points as torrential rain turned the Twickenham Stoop showdown into a war of attrition.
It was Quins' first defeat of the season and Mallinder was delighted to land an early blow in the title race.
"To come away to somewhere like this and win is an outstanding result," he said.
"It was a horrible Friday night. Harlequins are quite rightly serious contenders for the Premiership. To come here and beat them is significant.
"I'm very pleased. It was always going to be tight and it was a question of getting your set-piece right.
"Stephen Myler kicked well and then we got our try-scoring opportunity and took it."
Harlequins boss Conor O'Shea absolved Nick Evans of blame after the former New Zealand fly-half missed four of his six attempts at goal, allowing 12 points to go begging.
"We move on and forget it, Nick wins so many games for this club. You get the bounce of the ball one day, you don't the next," O'Shea said.
"We brought Ben Botica on and he hit the posts. It's not a train smash.
"It's really disappointing because I thought we played some really good rugby in horrific conditions but didn't get the reward.
"I said to the boys even before the game, this doesn't define your season.
"If we play like that week in week out we'll be fine, we just have to take our chances and we had enough.
"That happens and Northampton will be really pleased with win, as they should be. We'll get ourselves ready for Worcester next week."