RUGBY St Andrews moved four points clear at the top of the table with a 22-12 home win against closest challengers Northampton BBOB.
Tries from Joe Hudson, Tom Muat and David Lewis helped Saints to a crucial win following an excellent second-half display at the Hillmorton Grounds.
Victory in the top of the table clash means Rugby lead the Counties 3 Midlands East (South) standings by four points having won all eight of their league matches this season.
Saints made a slow start, having gone almost a month without a competitive fixture, with defences firmly on top in the opening 10 minutes.
However, Rugby scored the game’s first try on 16 minutes as Hudson raced to the line after receiving the ball from Ben Davison who collected possession on halfway and drew in the opposition full back.
Saints were almost caught out at the other end after losing possession on the Northampton line only for Eliot Hudson to deny the visitors a breakaway try with a superb tackle metres from the Rugby line.
Northampton eventually found a way through on the half-hour mark after charging down an attempted clearing kick with the score converted to put the visitors into a slender lead.
And the visitors crossed again soon after following more sustained pressure on the Rugby line with Saints trailing by seven points at the interval.
Rugby used their kicking game to great effect after the break as flanker Muat beat two players out wide to cross for the home side’s second try with Chris Halcrow adding the extras from the touchline.
And replacement winger Lewis then used his blistering pace to power over the line and put Rugby back in front on the hour mark with Halcrow converting.
The game became error-strewn in the final quarter before Halcrow successfully kicked a penalty in the last couple of minutes to deny Northampton a losing bonus point.
Rugby are next in action away at Rugby Lions on Saturday, January 6 with kick-off at 2.15pm at Webb Ellis Road.