This was a game featuring two poor sides. Leeds were the poorer in the second half, conceding four tries and with it a bonus point. Shaun Perry ignited the Bristol comeback, for a first away Premiership win in a year, with two tries in seven minutes while Leeds were down to 14 men.
Leeds are now 14 points adrift at the bottom of the Premiership and their chief executive, Gary Hetherington, said: "We need to retain our better players, if we get relegated. Player availability is not a problem. We have the resources. I'm going to Sydney, Australia, tomorrow to recruit union and league players. Today was disappointing.
"There is a lot of resolve at this club. It's a tough business to be in. There's no magic wand. All the players we want to keep are still with us. The success of the team is paramount."
In the first half Andy Tuilagi scored Leeds' only try, which Alberto Di Bernardo converted. Two Ed Barnes penalties were all for Bristol. Di Bernardo kicked two penalties and Leeds were 13-6 ahead at the break. After it, Perry's tries helped Bristol go 18-13 up.
Rob Higgitt scored the next try, again converted by Barnes, and the captain, Joe El Abd, the fourth. Bristol's head coach, Richard Hill, said: "Today's result will give us all heart for the rest of the season."
Hill's half-backs, Perry and Barnes, will win most plaudits, but praise is also due to his pack. The hooker, Mark Regan, was prominent as they gave the Leeds forwards a very hard time.
Leeds: Try Tuilagi; Conversion Di Bernardo; Penalties Di Bernardo 2. Bristol: Tries Perry 2, Higgitt, El Abd; Conversions Barnes 2; Penalties Barnes 2.
Leeds: L Hinton (R Vickerman, 76); J Holtby (L Blackett, 71), J Hepworth, A Tuilagi, T Biggs; A Di Bernardo (J Brooks, 62), J Bedford; M MacDonald, V Ma'asi (R Rawlinson, 71), T McGee (F Pala'amo, 67), S Hooper (capt), K Myall, J Dunbar (E Lund, 40), H Fourie (C Clark, 66), A Balding.
Bristol: L Arscott (C Morgan, 77); A Elliott, R Higgitt, D Hill (S Cox, 71), D Lemi; E Barnes, S Perry (B O'Riordan, 77); D Hilton (J Hobson, 48), M Regan (S Linklater, 64), D Crompton, R Winters (N Budgett, 65), S Hohneck, A To'oala (I Grieve, 64), J El Abd (capt), A Blowers.
Referee: M Fox (Leicester).Reuse content