Jim Mallinder felt the positives outweighed the negatives as Saints held off a second-half surge from Worcester to win 37-31 at Franklin’s Gardens.
The Warriors had been 37-3 down when Mike Haywood scored the home side’s fifth try of the game in the 60th minute.
But four tries in the final 20 minutes from Worcester replacements meant the scoreline had a far less convincing look to it at the end.
Mallinder, though, was eager to focus on the first 60 minutes of the game, when his side ran riot, with two tries from Luther Burrell and one apiece from Courtney Lawes and Vasily Artemyev securing a bonus point, before Haywood’s effort.
“We were good for 60 minutes,” said the Saints boss. “We took control and then we relaxed. We made a few changes and disappointingly they got back in the game.
“It wasn’t panic, it was frustration. We just got away from doing the basics, our defence crumbled, we didn’t hit touch when we had the chance and we lost the ball in attack so you start doing that and you’re always going to be on the back foot.
“But the positives are a cracking 60 minutes where we totally dominated Worcester. We played really well, we got the bonus point within that and the positive from the last 20 minutes was that a lot of the players got some good game time.”