Heathcote had been wasteful with the boot before slotting the last kick drop goal which earned the home side a dramatic but deserved 13-12 win to open their Aviva Premiership account.
“Tom was very disappointed that he missed those penalty kicks but fair play to him, he stood up to the task and successfully pulled the trigger, when we could have easily gone through more phases,” said Ryan.
“It was so good for him as he’s bounced around a few clubs and he’ll get a lot of confidence from this.”
Ryan was delighted with his side’s performance.
“We knew there was a gap between the Championship and the Premiership but we couldn’t assess how big it was,” he said.
“In this game, we saw it wasn’t huge and it was an excellent reference point as we showed that we can complete physically.
“It’s a nice four points for us as our scrum stood up to a powerful side and we had decent control but we can do even better.”