Jim Mallinder revelled in a ‘special moment’ after Saints clinched Aviva Premiership title glory at Twickenham.
Alex Waller’s try deep into extra-time secured a dramatic 24-20 success against Saracens to bring a first league title back to Northampton.
Saints lost out in the Premiership showpiece last May, but they went one step further this time.
And Mallinder cut a delighted figure as he took his seat in front of the assembled media.
“It’s a real sense of relief to get over and win,” said the director of rugby.
“We’re pleased with last week’s Amlin (Challenge Cup) win, but this week was always at the top of the agenda.
“It’s fantastic for the club. It’s a first Premiership title and particularly after coming close last year and in the Heineken Cup (in 2011), it’s a special moment.”
Mallinder feels the experiences of last year’s Twickenham loss to Leicester proved important on this occasion.
And he was ecstatic after finally ending his club’s 14-year wait for a major trophy.
“It’s the best,” said Mallinder, who took charge at Saints in 2007. “It’s why you come to a big club Northampton, to win trophies like this.
“We’ve been on the up in those seven years. We’ve had some disappointments, but we’ve always talked after those about when we won a big one it would be sweeter. And it is.
“The experience of playing in big games is important. We’re getting used to playing in big games.
“We’ve got senior internationals, getting more games and international rugby, and we’ve got three great additions (Fotuali’i, North, Corbisiero) who have added to the mix.”