Gloucester moved to within touching distance of an Aviva Premiership play-off place after consolidating third place in the table following a 27-15 victory over Northampton.
Two more points from their remaining fixtures - away to Saracens next Sunday and on home soil against lowly Sale Sharks next month - would guarantee a shot at the title. Northampton should join them in the Premiership's knockout phase, especially with a final game looming against relegation-haunted Leeds Carnegie, but they were second-best at Kingsholm.
First-half tries by Gloucester backs Tim Molenaar and Charlie Sharples set the tone, and there was no way back for Heineken Cup semi-finalists Northampton when hooker Olivier Azam touched down midway through the third quarter.
Freddie Burns converted all three tries and added two penalties, while Saints replied with an early Alex Waller score, a Lee Dickson consolation try and five points from Shane Geraghty.