BATH head of rugby Johann Van Graan praised former Worcester Warriors centre as one of “two world-class number 13s" on the pitch during his side's 20-19 win over Bristol Bears.

Bath and England centre Lawrence - who scored one of Bath's two tries - took the player of the match award for a hungry, virtuoso display but Fijian-born Virimi Vakatawa was just as impressive in the Bristol back line in front of a capacity crowd at the Recreation Ground.

Asked about Lawrence’s form since returning from the World Cup, Van Graan said: "I thought he was excellent.

"We had a good set-piece base to attack from in the first half. Obviously, we did our homework on them and they did the same to us so both teams found momentum.

"We put Ollie through a few holes and the try straight from the kick-off was a brilliant team effort."

Van Graan added: "I coached against Vakatawa when I was with South Africa and he with France. Every time I see his name on the opposition team sheet I think: what a quality player!

"It was a real positive for the Premiership tonight, if you look at the quality on both sides and two number 13s.

"We’re not speaking about decisions or 50-50s, we’re talking about two world-class number 13s that had a real go at each other. Both were brilliant tonight."

On his team's overall performance, Van Graan added: "We spoke this week about mastering the basics and in the last three minutes we were really clinical.

"We had to defend the maul, defend the scrum, win our own ball on the scrum. We had to win a line-out, execute the kick and keep our discipline because one penalty gives it away so it was a real sign of growth to us.

"Last season we lost seven games by one score. We were on the wrong end of it here against Leicester recently with a last-minute decision so I’ll take it as a real sign of growth for us as a group."