Bristol fly half Jason Strange kicked seven penalties to keep his side ahead for most of the afternoon.
But Shane Drahm stepped off the bench to score a late penalty and a last gasp drop goal from Bristol was charged down to hand Ruddock's men victory.
"You could say it was a victory for the try against the penalty goal," he said. "We scored three great tries. If fairness to Bristol they pressed really hard second half and created a few good opportunities to score tries themselves. We showed a lot of passion and pride to keep them out.
"We showed real character. In one occasion they were away and Miles Benjamin ran back and made the tackle. That typified what we were all about and our efforts.
"It was a fantastic performance from us. If we could just improve our discipline, that is our biggest problem. We have talked about it and it let us down, it allowed them to keep the scoreboard ticking over when we always looked the better team.
"But we never panicked. We know we have the ability to cut teams and score tries."
Ruddock was also full of praise for his young guns who stepped up to the mark in real style.
"Joe Carlisle did well and there were good things about his passing game first half," he said. "He will only get better and better for that game.
"James Collins was fantastic. We put him out on loan at the start of the season and when he came back he went on England Sevens duty. He has been quietly developing behind the scenes and did very well. His work on the floor was brilliant, he is a quality player."
Chris Horsman made his return in the game for only his second appearance of the season and Ruddock believes he can now play a part in the remaining games of this season.
"It was great to see Chris out there," said the Director of Rugby. "It meant so much to get on the field to him and show what he could do. It augers well for the run-in."