It was another case of so near but yet so far for Warriors who again had to settle for a losing bonus point – the fifth in as many matches – in a high tempo contest at Sixways.
In many ways Warriors were the better side in attack but were unable to finish off a number of scoring opportunities that might have secured the win.
Warriors did score an excellent try, started by Chris Pennell and expertly finished by Ollie Lawrence, and produced some of their best attacking rugby of the season.
But Warriors could not make the most of attacking lineouts in the first half and right at the death when Northampton checked a driving maul and turned over possession.
Instead Northampton scored a try from a line out catch and drive and held on for victory with two second half penalties from fly-half James Grayson.
Warriors dominated for long periods of the first half but could not quite turn their pressure into more than a penalty from Jono Lance.
Northampton repelled three attacking lineouts and only halted a brilliant sweeping counter-attack with a despairing tackle.
Lance made the initial break with a cheeky run from defence before Ted Hill and Nick David combined intelligently. David drew his tackler and slipped the ball inside to the supporting Ethan Waller who was tackled by Cobus Reinach.
The Northampton scrum-half dislodged the ball from Waller’s grasp and it ran free for Sam Lewis dotted down. Although replays suggested the ball had gone backwards referee Andrew Jackson ruled that it had been knocked on and disallowed the score.
Instead it Northampton who got the first try after 33 minutes when they kicked a penalty to the corner, won the lineout and drove hooker Mikey Haywood over.
James Grayson, who had opened the scoring with an early penalty, added the conversion and then slotted a penalty two minutes before the break when Warriors were pinged for a no-arms tackle.
Warriors continued to play with pace and ambition and their persistence was eventually rewarded when Pennell, who was outstanding in defence, impressed in attack, stepping out of tackles and finding support for Lawrence to sweep over for the try.
Lance added the conversion to reduce the deficit to three points but another marginal decision from the officials, when Cornell du Preez was penalised for taking Harry Mallinder out in the air, gave Northampton the chance to apply pressure from which Grayson kicked an easy penalty.
Warriors were not finished and Graham Kitchener picked up a loose ball and galloped away only to be dragged down just short of the line. Northampton’s replacement hooker Sam Matavesi was sin-binned for killing the ball which gave Warriors one last chance to score but Saints held out.
Warriors | 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Nick David (van Breda 66), 10 Jono Lance, 9 Francois Hougaard, 1 Ethan Waller (Owen 65), 2 Matt Moulds (C) (Annett 56), 3 Nick Schonert (65), 4 Andrew Kitchener (van Velze 56), 5 Graham Kitchener, 6 Ted Hill, 7 Sam Lewis (Dodd 59-67), 8 Cornell du Preez.
Replacements | 16 Niall Annett, 17 Kai Owen, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Gj van Velze, 20 Tom Dodd, 21 Michael Heaney, 22 Jamie Shillcock, 23 Scott van Breda.
9m | Grayson pen 0-3
17m | Lance pen 3-3
33m | Haywood try 3-8
34m | Grayson con 3-10
38m | Grayson pen 3-13
66m | Lawrence try 8-13
67m | Lance con 10-13
77m | Grayson pen 10-16