Lowly Exeter won their first major piece of silverware when they beat Northampton 15-8 in the Anglo-Welsh Cup final.
But more than that, it announced the team as a real force, after they scored their first win in 36 years over high-flying Bath in the semi-final, and now overcoming the Premiership leaders.
And while the Saints usually used this competition as a breeding ground for youngsters, the lure of silver prompted them to bring in their heavyweight players, including former Blue Bull Gerrit-Jan van Velze at No 8.
The Saints may look at opportunities lost, but the Exeter defence was superb, cracking only in the 69th minute when Glenn Dickson floated a great pass to Samu Manoa to take the score to 15-8.
Earlier Exeter scored from a rolling maul in the third minute after choosing to take a lineout from a penalty, and then went 15-3 ahead when Dean Mumm took a crisp inside pass and Henry Slade converted 10 minutes after half-time.
The scoreline could have been more emphatic, as Northampton had offered Exeter several opportunites to extend their lead with penalties, but Slade was off-target on four occasions.
Exeter – Tries: Chris Whitehead, Dean Mumm. Conversion: Henry Slade. Penalty: Slade.
Northampton – Try: Samu Manoa. Penalty: Glenn Dickson.
Exeter – 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 13 Phil Dollman, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Henry Slade, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Kai Horstmann, 7 Ben White, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Chris Whitehead, 1 Ben Moon.
Subs: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Alex Brown, 19 Romana Graham, 20 Don Armand, 21 Haydn Thomas, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Sireli Naqelevuki.
Northampton – 15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 James Wilson, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Glenn Dickson, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 GJ van Velze, 7 Phil Dowson, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Christian Day, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Mike Haywood, 1 Alex Waller.
Subs: 16 Ross McMillan, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 James Craig, 20 Ben Nutley, 21 Alex Day, 22 Sam Olver, 23 Fa'atoina Autagavaia
Photo: Tom Dulat/Getty Images