Lee Dickson says he is ‘unbelievably proud’ of Saints performance at Montpellier on Friday night.
The skipper scored one of his team’s two tries - the other came from his replacement, Tom Kessell - as Saints scrapped it out at the Altrad Stadium.
They were eventually beaten, with Fiji wing Nemani Nadolo turning on the power, scoring twice to propel Montpellier to a bonus-point 26-17 victory.
But Dickson was delighted with how his side, shorn of several rested international stars, performed against a largely full-strengh French team.
“It’s always disappointing to lose and you can never be happy with losing, but I’m unbelievably proud of the team and how we went about our business,” Dickson said.
“A few people had probably written us off before we came out here because of the players we rested, but I can’t be any prouder of the people in the dressing room.
“We showed what the Saints are about in this competition, we’ve come out here against a full-strength Montpellier team and we ran them all the way.
“If they didn’t have Nadolo on the wing it could have been a different game and I’m so proud of how we adapted to the game and the amount of tackling we did.”
Saints had been 10-7 up at half-time and threatened to extend their lead when George North dotted the ball down early in the second half.
But the Wales wing’s try was disallowed, with Ahsee Tuala deemed to have a foot in touch when making the final pass, and Montpellier fought back to win it.
“We had a game plan to come here and have a crack,” Dickson said.
“We were out of the competition and we wanted to play, which showed tonight.
“We ran a couple of times, a few offloads, got around the corner, Harry (Mallinder) and JJ (Hanrahan) ran the show.
“If George North’s try wasn’t disallowed it would have been a different game.
“I’m really happy with how we played and it’s building blocks for the next two weeks in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
“It’s going to be the same group of players and hopefully more of the same will come in these next two weeks.”