Bristol coach Pat Lam praised his side’s resilience as they began life back in the Premiership with victory over Bath. The Bears edged the West Country derby 17-10 at Ashton Gate, with Alapati Leiua’s try proving the decisive score in the match.
Ian Madigan landed three penalties to put the hosts 9-0 up early in the second half but Bath moved ahead after Tom Homer’s converted try was followed by a Rhys Priestland penalty.
Madigan then split the uprights for his fourth penalty to nudge the home side ahead once again before Leiua’s score sent the Bristol fans home with smiles on their faces.
It was an excellent way for last season’s Championship winners to begin life back in the big time and Lam was delighted with his charges.
“I am extremely proud of the guys. It has been a big day for the club,” he said. “The thing about the Premiership is that we are going to be under a lot of pressure and spend time without the ball, and we had to dig deep as a team.
“It was a magic occasion tonight to kick off a wonderful competition. It’s nice to be back, and it was a good start for us, but we get back to work on Monday.”