Director of Rugby Mark McCall watched his side score 22 unanswered points in a 22-13 win over Wasps at Adams Park on Saturday.
The win maintains top spot in the Aviva Premiership but it also opened up an 11 point gap from third place.
Speaking after the game, McCall said: “It was an important win for us as it gives us that little bit of breathing space in the Premiership.
“We’re delighted to have won here today, given Wasps home record. Where we have developed as a team in the last 12 months is how we deal with set-backs. The boys showed great resolve and they didn’t panic because they know that when we get going, we are capable of getting points on the board.
“We took the opportunity today to take a number of the squad who have played a lot of rugby this season out of the firing line, and I think it shows the depth of the squad we have. I also thought the bench made a huge contribution when they came on in the second half.
“We’ve been good at taking chances in the last four or five matches but today we dropped a few over their line and missed a few other chances. But I think it’s more important that we showed the resolve to come back from 13 points down and to keep them scoreless for the last 67 minutes. It says a lot about the great spirit that we have.”
McCall also praised Chris Ashton for his try-scoring performance.
“It wasn’t just his try; it was how he played today. I thought he was absolutely brilliant and it was the Chris Ashton we were used to seeing two years ago; popping up all over the place, getting his hands on the ball, making breaks. But he also defended very well. He was hungry work and energetic throughout.
“We believe he’s a great player; that’s why we brought him to the club. We leave him be, we let him play and we try to encourage him to do what he’s does best.”
The game at Adams Park had an added bonus for McCall, with the return on long-term absentee Jacques Burger.
“It’s such a big moment to have him back. The dressing room was buzzing for Jacques after the game. I don’t think many people appreciate how complicated his injury was and it was a big deal for him. He was really nervous before the game and it’s really good to have back again.”