Newport boss Lyn Jones admits his players were taught a ‘harsh lesson’ by Saints on Saturday.
Northampton claimed a 34-16 LV= Cup pool stage victory at Rodney Parade, scoring five tries in the process.
Jim Mallinder’s men were totally dominant in the tight, with four of their scores coming from the power of the forwards.
And Jones could do nothing but give credit to Saints, who, he confessed, were too hot to handle in torrid conditions.
“Our front five had a tough time, and that’s a nice way of putting it,” said the former London Welsh boss.
“The challenge for me here is to ensure that the expertise comes into the region to advance our ability to scrum and maul.
“We talked about Northampton coming up and we know they are a top-four side in their league and a genuine power side, bred in England.
“That’s what you’re going to be up against so you need be ready for it or don’t turn up.
“It’s a harsh lesson for us, it’s not nice to take and we need to improve in that department.
“They’re very effective. There were some glimpses that we’d made some improvements, but in tight play it only needs one forward to fall down and you all fall down.
“We need to learn from it, but this is where we are.”