Dorian West was delighted to see Saints’ selection decisions pay off as they claimed a 38-15 bonus-point win at Treviso.
Six tries secured an impressive success at Stadio di Monigo, with the away side earning a crucial maximum points haul on their travels.
It keeps them firmly in contention at the top of Champions Cup Pool 5 and sets them up for next week’s return clash with Treviso at Franklin’s Gardens.
Saints had opted to stick with the majority of the side that had served them so well during a successful autumn international period, with their England men left on the bench in Italy.
And the move paid off as the job was all but done by the time Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes and Tom Wood entered the field.
“We’ve been pretty pleased with the performances over the past five or six weeks and the lads that have been playing for us and getting those victories needed to carry on playing,” said Saints forwards coach West.
“It’s always a difficult period, bringing your international players back into the team so we needed to make sure we did it gradually and they’re all on the same page.
“There’s a lot less pressure when you’re coming off the bench. You can come back in training, watch what’s going on and get back up to speed.
“That’s what we chose to do and thankfully it worked out for us.”
Racing Metro had topped Pool 5 going into the weekend thanks to victories against Saints and Treviso.
And with the French side locked in back-to-back battles with Ospreys this month, West and Co knew they needed to keep the heat on with a five-point victory in Italy.
“We’re very pleased,” said West. “We saw Racing come here to Treviso and not get a bonus point and we’re slightly behind them so we needed to get the five points.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy but we worked hard, we’ve overcome them and we’ve come away with six tries, which can only be good for us.”