Owen Farrell proved he has lost none of his goalkicking poise as he plundered 17 points for Saracens as they moved five points clear at the top of the Aviva Premiership with a 27-12 home win over reigning champions Harlequins.
A week after an uncharacteristic wobble at the Millennium Stadium, Farrell was right on the money at Allianz Park, also providing the inch perfect kick to allow Will Fraser to gather and crash over for his side's second try.
It was a performance that left director of rugby Mark McCall delighted as he faces up to the prospect of a 'home' Heineken Cup quarter-final clash with his former team, Ulster Rugby, at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday, 6 April (kick-off 6.30pm).
"We played very well and our attacking game caused them some problems. We scored our tries at the right times of the game and I thought it was a good overall performance," said McCall.
"I think the last 10 minutes typified us - we were resolute and we showed great courage. We know that our season didn't hinge on today's result, it was about our performance and our confidence as a team."
While the win put daylight between Saracens and the chasing pack at the top of the table, defeat relegated Harlequins to third place behind fellow Heineken Cup quarter-finalists Leicester Tigers. Tigers scraped a 12-6 win at Exeter Chiefs to move into second place.
All tems had their international players back on duty and McCall was particularly impressed by the attitude and application of his England players. As well as a match-winning 17 points from Farrell, he also picked out the performance of his loose head prop Mako Vunipola.
"I must take my hat off to our English guys, who obviously had a hard time last week. They were desperate to play," said McCall.
"It was the Mako Vuniopola show for the first 20 minutes and I thought he was pretty special. The best thing Mako did was scrum against James Johnston - he was superb for a young prop that has only had one year in the Premiership.
"We all know how good he is in the loose, but Mako also knows how important his work is in the tight, and he was very good."
Vunipola will have to pack down against former All Black John Afoa in the quarter-final in one of the vital battles in the game. Ulster are returning to Twickenham following their Heineken Cup final defeat by Leinster there last May.
The directors of ERC voted unanimously at a Board meeting to postpone all decisions including the release of further instalments of ERC's distributable central revenues to the six shareholder countries until 19 February next when the Board will meet again to reconsider the issue.