Two-try local hero Paul Diggin was praised by Northampton boss Jim Mallinder after his two first-half scores set up a memorable 17-13 east midlands derby victory over Leicester.
The hosts had dominated a fast and furious opening spell and went into a 10-0 lead, with Diggin striking twice.
The first try came in the 12th minute when Northampton won a lineout on the left. They moved the ball through several pairs of hands before full-back Ben Foden burst into the line to provide the final pass which sent Diggin diving over near the right touchline.
Ten minutes later and with Saints putting Leicester's defence under enormous pressure, the winger then grabbed his third Premiership try of 2009, popping up in the middle of the attacking line to take a short pass from Stephen Myler and breach the defensive line.
"He's only small but he's got a big heart. We've got a bit of competition there and he's keeping some key personnel out of the team," Mallinder said.
"He's a local Northampton lad who went to the boys' school down the road and what he's doing is fantastic."
Mallinder also backed Foden for a place in Martin Johnson's England squad after he created a try and scored one for the second week running after doing the same against bottom club Bristol.
"He backed up last week's performance," Mallinder added. "It was a fantastic performance and then he has the ability to switch to scrum-half when Lee Dickson got a little bit of cramp near the end.
"He picks lines really well, he's got pace and he's got strength as well. He's got the ability to fend off that first tackler and stay on his feet and has a good kicking game as well."
Mallinder said he will be surprised if Johnson does not pick Foden when he names his RBS 6 Nations squad on Wednesday.
"I don't know what he's looking at but I think he's got to come into his consideration," he added.
England flanker James Haskell insists he will be pushing as hard as possible to be back from a toe injury in time to make his case for a spot in Eddie Jones' side looking to defend their RBS 6 Nations title next year.