Jim Mallinder hailed big-game player Stephen Myler after the fly-half booted Saints to victory against Saracens at stadium:mk.
Myler racked up 20 points, landing six penalties and converting Samu Manoa’s try in a 25-20 victory over Mark McCall’s men.
The 30-year-old picked up the man of the match award, just as he did in Saints’ dramatic extra-time win against Sarries in last May’s Aviva Premiership final.
And Mallinder was delighted with the contribution of his talismanic 10, whose only blot on the copybook was a kick that was charged down by Billy Vunipola, who missed the chance.
“Stephen gets man of the match in a lot of the big games here plays in,” said the Saints director of rugby.
“He’ll be disappointed with the chargedown, but you need someone who’s reliable and can kick goals in big pressure situations and he’s proved over the last few years that he can do that very well.”
Saints had been 17-13 down at half-time, but they managed to turn the tide in the second period, particularly in the scrum.
And Mallinder, whose side are now five points clear of second-placed Bath in the league standings, said: “It was an interesting game.
“The first half was close. They got into our set piece and disrupted it.
“Lineout and scrum didn’t function quite as well as it normally does, but we managed to stay in the game, Stephen Myler kicked his goals.
“In the second half - perhaps Billy Vunipola going off injured at the end of the first was a critical moment - we got on top, our set piece worked well and we dominated.
“There was a change in the momentum of the scrum. They were getting penalties in nearly every scrum in the first half and that flipped on its head in the second.”