Tom Varndell became just the fourth player to score a hat-trick in European action for Bristol but head coach Mark Tainton insists it was the team display that earned a bonus-point victory over Pau.
The flying wing touched down three times in an impressive European Rugby Challenge Cup display in France, a four-try effort rewarded with maximum points for a second successive week.
Jack Wallace scored after just ten minutes before Varndell got his first on the stroke of half-time, a scintillating 70m run to pull his side within four points of the hosts at the break.
From there, Tainton’s side never looked back. Varndell doubled his tally just after the hour mark, wrapping up the win and his trio ten minutes later in superb style, ending a 14-0 second half for the visitors to win 28-14.
And the head coach was delighted with the support his side received overseas, equally thrilled the fans could return with pride in their team.
“We created a lot in the first half, we just didn’t finish them off and our accuracy wasn’t what we wanted,” Tainton told the Premiership website.
“The message at the half-time was to carry on, we didn’t stop playing rugby and executed very well.
“We want to be ruthless, we want to put teams away and the boys bought into that both last week and this week so it bodes well for a good week leading into the next game.
“The whole squad is working very hard, we’ve got some great intensity in training and we’re transferring that onto the rugby field.”
The win puts Bristol within three points of both Bath Rugby and Cardiff Blues, sitting third in Pool 4 as the only team with two bonus points from four games.