It is always hard to take positives from a defeat like this, no matter that Northampton are a Premiership side in everything but name.

No matter that they will win this division at a canter. A ten-try thrashing hurts, even more so when you contribute to your own downfall.

And yet perversely the nature of the defeat might inject a healthy dose of realism surrounding the expectations placed on this Moseley team.

Moseley began the season with two wins, but the results masked some deficiencies in their game that were ruthless exposed by a Northampton side that is aiming to go the entire season unbeaten.

Neither team's line out worked particularly well, and the amount of turnover ball is likely to have bothered Ian Smith, the Moseley coach, just as much as his counterpart Jim Mallinder. But for Moseley it will be the failure to make a tackle of any description that will be of most concern.

Too often on Saturday Northampton were able to waltz through a non-existent Moseley defence.

"Parts of our game weren't working at all, not as well as they should be," said Smith. "But in our development, we're at a different stage to Northampton, obviously. That's what we've got to get in perspective.

"We were one place of relegation last year, a couple of wins [this year] and people think you're safe. But the fact is it's a difficult league, we've got to improve week by week.

"We're part-time, we train two evenings a week, it's a hell of a gulf. We're under no illusions but we'll analyse it, we'll look at the parts of the game that made it easier for Northampton, and didn't make it any easier for us.

"Missing the first up tackles is a major contributing factor to the score, at the end of the day of you don't tackle then they are going to score, and that was happening far too often really.

"I think it just makes us really aware of where we are [as a side] and how much work there is still to do."

The result though is likely to be overshadowed by the ill-tempered nature of a game that saw both sides have a man sent-off, two more sent to the sin-bin, and Moseley captain Richard Stott knocked-out during a scuffle following Northampton's seventh try.

"That nobody was dismissed for the punch that felled Stott had more to do with the cowardly nature of the attack, and the fight that was taking place between props Simon Emms and Neil Bayliss at the time.

Emms and Bayliss were eventually sent-off for fighting in the dying minutes as their niggly confrontation finally boiled over.

While Stott's assailant went unpunished on the pitch, pictures later showed Mark Robinson, the Northampton scrum-half, in the thick of the action. Robinson has been sent off several times before in his career, and while Moseley refused to comment after the game, they are likely to cite the player.

There was some rugby played as well. Not all of it bad, and not all the good things came just from Northampton.

Moseley scored two tries through Nathan Bressington and Jack Foster. Bressington's try brought the visitors to within two points of their hosts, and was the culmination of a fine move that stretched the Northampton defence the width of the field.

Smith's side were already behind at that point, having conceded a try in only the second minute after losing their first line out of the day.

The rest of the game was a procession, with nine different Saints players getting on the score sheet.

Worryingly for the rest of the division the margin of victory should have been greater, but Northampton, and Carlos Spencer in particular, blew several opportunities with the line just inches away.