DELIGHTED Diccon Edwards heaped praise on his prolific Leeds Carnegie side as they ran in five tries to destroy Bristol.
The head coach had been frustrated by their inability to defeat Plymouth last week having scored the same number of touchdowns only to lose 32-31.
But there was no repeat performance yesterday when rampant Leeds tore into last season’s Championship table-toppers and had the stamina and conviction to stay the course.
They were 27-0 ahead at half-time with a thrilling display which left the Welshman elated.
“It was the best 40 minutes of rugby since I’ve been in charge,” he said.
“From one to 15 they were absolutely outstanding.
“Everything we’d been working on came to fruition and it shows what a good side we can be.
“Bristol are a top-four team and the best in the competition last year.
“They had a few players missing so it was maybe a good time to play them but we shouldn’t under-estimate how good a performance that was.
“We can’t get too excited, though, and the challenge now is to back that up at Newcastle on Friday night.”
Stunned Bristol had no answer to Leeds’ vibrant style of football with half-backs Joe Ford and James Doherty continually giving their three-quarters chance to run from deep.
Full-back Stevie McColl chimed into the line at will and winger David Doherty seemed to break clear every time he received possession in that brilliant first half.
McColl crossed on 10 minutes after Jon Goodridge had been yellow-carded for a high tackle on Curtis Wilson and David Doherty added their second on 23 after Leeds’ rampant forwards forced another turnover and unleashed a swift counter attack.
Some slick interplay between number eight Ryan Burrows and excellent prop Sam Lockwood furnished Wilson with a third while Ford converted them all to add to his two penalties.
Bristol were better after the break, Mike Tagicakibau scoring and then Rhys Lawrence adding another while Rowan was sin-binned.
But Leeds centre Fred Burdon raced clear for a bonus point try following a great run from James Doherty and Rowan scored a brilliant solo effort too to make sure, Ford adding three more penalties.
Bristol grabbed their own bonus point score through Jack Gadd in the 75th minute and Matt Williams also crossed in the closing moments but Leeds were far superior.
Edwards was particularly pleased with Rowan’s display, his captain who has been so classy in their opening four games.
“What an outstanding young man,” he said, after their second win of the season.
“With his leadership skills and general professionalism I thought his overall performance today was outstanding.
“We showed that when we practice on the really small things it’s those that make the difference.
“I’m normally frustrated with some aspect of our play but it wasn’t the case today so that was a strange feeling.
“We now have to carry that on against Newcastle.”
Leeds: McColl; Wilson, Griffin (Chisholm 74), Burdon, D Doherty; Ford, D Doherty (Hampson 57); Lockwood (Harris 59), Graham, Tussac (Hooper 70), Green (Smith 70), Myerscough (Hemingway 70), Beck, Rowan, Burrows. Unused replacements: Nilsen.
Bristol: Goodridge (Moses 49); Tagicakibau, Eves, Gadd, Williams; Roberts (Jones 57), Grindal (Tipuna 49); Traynor, Lawrence, Douglas (Thompson 58), Glynn (Sambucetti 58), Townson, Grieve, Merriman (Mama 57 Channon 73).
Referee: Matt Carley