In the process, Tigers prospered where so many clubs have floundered in the French championship.
"At the start of the day I would have taken 28-13," said Howard. "The conditions were miserable, it is a very tough place to come and we played well in the first half to put us on our way."
Bourgoin have lost only one of their last 54 home games in their domestic championship and are famously dogged and determined in front of their own supporters at the Stade Pierre Rajon. But Tigers produced a top-class performance to get ahead and stay ahead in the first half, then had to dig in defensively after the break.
"I think the guys sent out a statement in the first 20 minutes. There is a slight disappointment at not taking the bonus point after scoring three tries in the first half but Bourgoin didn't want to be embarrassed at home and they controlled ball well in the second half. Our defence looked good and we still defended well even when we lost players to the sin bin."
Tigers host Bourgoin in the return fixture at Welford Road next Saturday, kick-off 2.45pm.
A few tickets remain. Contact the ticket office on 08701 28 34 30.