Nic Groom admitted his Saints debut was a ‘bittersweet’ experience.
The South African scrum-half, who joined from Super Rugby side Stormers during the summer, came off the bench with 14 minutes to go against Bath on Saturday.
And Groom went on to grab two tries, but he couldn’t save Saints from defeat as they slipped to an 18-14 loss on Aviva Premiership opening day at Franklin’s Gardens.
The result overshadowed the brace for the new boy, and he was left to reflect on what might have been.
“I was very happy to get to play in front of the crowd here at Franklin’s Gardens and to get my first game for Saints,” he said.
“But at the same time obviously we would have loved to come away with the win so it was bittersweet for me.
“We’d been speaking during the week about my role and I had a good, clear message.
“I needed to speed things up, get our attack going a bit and to get into the right place at the right time for opportunistic moments.
“It was the sort of game where things could have changed and the ball could have bounced our way at any stage. It happened towards the end there and that’s about it.”
George Ford kicked 18 points for Bath, who showed their nous as they successfully negotiated a game in Northampton for the first time since April, 2000.
And Groom said: “We had some moments in the game where if we’d capitalised then it would have been a completely different game.
“There are games like this when you walk away winners and it wasn’t the case for us. Bath capitalised on their momentum better than us and were smarter.
“For us it’s a case of coming back in next week, putting in a huge effort, putting things right and getting things back on track at Bristol on Sunday.”