There was a vintage performance from scrum half Sean Long, who this week revealed he could leave the club at the end of the season if he isn’t offered a two-year-deal.
It was Chris Flannery that opened the scoring for Saints on 12 minutes when he collected Matt Gidley‘s pass to cross the whitewash, and in a tight first half, the crowd had to wait until the stroke of half time for another score.
Gidley was again responsible for the try assit, throwing a sublime pass for Paul Wellens to dive over in the corner and give Saints a 10-0 lead at half time.
Harlequins came at Saints at the start of the second half, but the Challenge Cup holders sent the perfect response. A brilliant individual piece of skill by Sean Long saw him break through and then a superb offload found the supporting James Roby to go over for their third try, which Long converted for 16-0.
A fine breakaway effort from Luke Dorn reduced arrears to four and set up an exciting finish, but Saints had the final say, when Keiron Cunningham produced a trademark try from dummy half two minutes before the end to seal a home win for the league leaders.