Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill praised his team's never-say-die attitude after they came from behind to clinch a 34-29 victory away to Benetton Treviso.
The English champions were on course for a shock opening Heineken Cup defeat at Stadio Comunale di Monigo until Alesana Tuilagi's try three minutes from time. That score secured a bonus-point victory for the Tigers following earlier tries from Matt Smith, Craig Newby, Martin Castrogiovanni and Ben Youngs.
Cockerill said: "It is a good result to get a win away from home in the first round of the Heineken Cup. We scored five tries and got the bonus point against a good Treviso side and that gives us a good start to the campaign."
He continued: "If anyone was under any illusions about Treviso then they won't be now. We didn't take them lightly at all, they have a game-plan and they play it well. Their league form is no fluke.
"We were a bit inaccurate. We scored five tries but we created enough opportunities to score eight or nine. You have to take those opportunities at this level and that's something to work on before next week.
"But you have to give the players huge credit for winning it the way they did. We needed to score in the last couple of minutes to win the game and we ran out from under our own posts, held on to it and finished it well. We must have gone through a dozen phases to score to win. That says a lot for the guys.
"Many other sides might have given up in that situation, but we kept going, we kept our discipline and got the result. We should have been better defensively and we have to control our possession better. But the win makes sure we are upbeat going into next week's game at home to the Scarlets."
The late try denied the Italian champions a first victory over English opponents since beating Bath in 2004, and their losing bonus point was scant consolation after such a promising performance.
Assistant Treviso coach Marius Goosen said: "We were right in that game to the final whistle.
"We gave away a few soft tries but Leicester had the experience to close out these games when our boys were tiring."