Leicester Tigers have fallen to Bristol Bears 25-14 in round one of the Gallagher Premiership after Tigers were unable to rein the home side in after leading 22-0 at the break.
A much-improved second half saw Tigers take two opportunities for tries, Leicester left to rue not taking more of their chances in the second-half as they look forward to getting back to Mattioli Woods Welford Road next time out against Sale.
Bears wing Gabriel Ibitoye scored twice in the first half, the first coming off a deft kick in behind Tigers defence and the other from an impressive solo run from his own half.
The Bears also added a further score through hooker Harry Thacker and a penalty from James Williams, the centre having taking over the kicking duties from injured flyhalf AJ MacGinty.
Williams slotted another penalty after halftime giving the Tigers a mountain to climb at 25-0.
Tigers’ centre Dan Kelly got Leicester on the board at the 50-minute mark which Atkinson converted.
That try definitely lifted Leicester and a perfect pop pass saw captain Hanro Liebenberg go through a gap and the bruising backrow showed good speed and footwork to score.
Tigers grew in the closing 20 minutes, creating enough opportunities to close the gap. The killer pass would evade Leicester however, and the game would finish at 25-14.