West praises battling Saints
Northampton forwards coach Dorian West saluted his players for "grinding it out" after their 27-18 victory over Worcester Warriors on Saturday.
The win saw Saints put their Aviva Premiership play-off hopes back on track at Sixways.
A 70th-minute Samu Manoa touchdown and a penalty try in the dying seconds saw Northampton move up to fifth with a 27-18 victory.
It was only their second league win from their last five starts and was achieved despite Saints' England forwards Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes both being sin-binned.
"You need to be able to play the game depending on the conditions, and I was really pleased with how we did that today," former England hooker West said.
"It was not the conditions to be throwing the ball around, it was a day for grinding it out, working hard for each other and sticking tight in the forwards.
"I thought we played the conditions very well. We showed that in the second half when we controlled field position, got the ball in the right areas and our forwards worked really hard.
"It's quite strange in that you are five points off the top four (as Northampton were before today) and you are getting written off by everybody, saying how poor you are.
"We know we've not been at our best, but you don't win trophies before Christmas."
West had no complaint with the Hartley yellow card, which was awarded for killing the ball, although he was aggrieved that Lawes saw yellow for his challenge on Worcester fly-half Andy Goode.
"The referee had just warned us about penalties, and I think it was one of those where Dylan was slightly off his feet and his hands were on the ball," West added.
"He has got to be a little more streetwise, knowing what the referee has just said to us. I am not going to moan about that.
"But Courtney's yellow I thought was really harsh. I thought he was pulling out of the tackle, he just clipped him and 'Goodey' has made a meal of it."
It was only Saints' second win in their last five league games but it took them into fifth spot, one point above Gloucester, who tackle Wasps tomorrow.
Northampton fly-half Stephen Myler kicked five penalties and a conversion for a 17-point haul, while his opposite number Goode landed six penalties out of seven but could not stave off the Warriors' fourth successive Premiership defeat.
Head coach Richard Hill, though, was delighted with his players' approach to the game on a Sixways pitch parts of which resembled a glue-pot.
"We played some superb rugby," Hill said. "A year ago you wouldn't have seen Worcester play with that intent of producing 15-man rugby.
"We did not finish things off but we have just got to persevere with that type of rugby. It is the rugby the players want to play.
"Today we got beaten by a power game. We knew what was coming with the scrum and the lineout maul and we couldn't deal with it.
"We are not getting the rewards for the rugby we are playing at the moment, but we will get them at some stage. There is huge self-belief in the squad.
"It would be a lie if I said I was not worried about the set-piece. It is a concern, but we are very confident that through the coaching and the players we will work out a strategy to get better. It was a bad scrummaging day today."