Leeds Tykes director of rugby Phil Davies admitted he was delighted with his team's gutsy display at Perpignan despite ending 12-8 losers.
The Tykes led for much of the game following a try from David Doherty and Gordon Ross' penalty but were eventually undone by two tries by Samueli Dawai Naulu.
Their performance was rewarded with a rare bonus point from the south of France as well as praise from their coach.
"We're as pleased as you could be after losing a game of this importance," said Davies.
"We defended really well throughout the game and showed a high level of committment throughout. The guys did really well to get back on their feet after conceding the early score.
"The atmosphere was great and I'm delighted that some of the younger members of our squad got a chance to experience that. As you would expect it was intimidating but no more than say Kingsholm at Gloucester or Leicester's Welford Road.
"Naulu was always a threat down the wing. I thought we generally closed him down pretty well but he took his two tries very well.
"You have to credit to perpignan for winning the game but perhaps you would give more credit to us for going all the way to the end and earn bonus point. We now have something to play for both in the Guinness Premiership and the Heineken Cup. That is very exciting for all of us."
Meanwhile Perpignan centre Jean-Philippe Grandclaude praised the contribution made by try scorer Naulu. He added: "The first game at Leeds was a massive game and this one was even bigger. The fact they were won by just four points and lost by one in the last game shows how evenly matched the two sides are.
"Our victory was down to some fantastic defence and two outstanding contributions from Naulu.
"We're obviously very happy to win and despite this result, Leeds cannot be underestimated. They are clearly not the weakest side in the pool."