Harry Mallinder lined up alongside Luther Burrell, who switched to 13, in the superb 27-23 success at Harlequins.
And it was a partnership that paid huge dividends for Saints, with Mallinder and Burrell striking up an immediate understanding.
Mallinder set up Burrell for their side’s second try and the pair also combined to devastating effect to help send Ben Foden over for the match-winning score in the game’s final play.
And the Saints director of rugby was happy that his selection decision paid off.
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“It was an interesting one to move Luther out to 13,” Mallinder said.
“He’s been a bit frustrated of late and he wants to really show what he can do.
“Harry was at 12 and I think it worked quite well.
“We were still fairly direct at the right times, but it gave us the ability to get the ball wide and get the ball into the back three’s hands.
“We want to get the ball in Ben Foden’s hands as much as we possibly can.”
Burrell played a part in all three of Saints’ scores, with his lung-busting break laying the foundations for Christian Day’s first-half effort.
And Mallinder feels his club are reaping the rewards of the 28-year-old’s international omission.
“He was very good,” Mallinder said. “He was dominant.
“He really carried well, getting his offloads away and defensively he was good.
“He worked really hard over the past few weeks.
“He’s clearly frustrated and he wants to get back in that England squad.
“It was a really good step from him at the end of the game.”