The final whistle was greeted with scenes of huge elation as promotion was secured and it was left to Pennell to left the trophy and confirm a place back in the big time.
He said: "It means everything to us, from the young guys to the older guys. You want to be playing your rugby at the top level.
"You miss playing at that intensity week in and week out, we're just so grateful to have done it this season.
"This city deserves a successful sporting team and we will be sticking our hands up and trying to make sure that it has just that over the next few years.
"You see the support out there today with a packed house, it is a superb place to play sport and we need to make this place a fortress to get crowds like that in week in and week out."
Pennell admitted he was left disappointed with the display but the prize at the end of it meant winning ugly had never tasted so sweet.
"I never thought we were back in the Premiership until the final whistle because we knew the Pirates would come back strong," he added.
"It is disappointing that we allowed them to come back strong, there is still plenty to work on and we didn't play well over the last few games.
"But winning ugly is sometimes what is required and we had to win these two games to get back. Thank goodness we have done that.
"The Premiership is an extremely good competition and you want to be facing the top teams in the world.
"You see with the Heineken Cup, the English teams have done extremely well so we are relishing the opportunity to play against those guys.
"The hard work starts now. We can tick this season off, learn the lessons we have learnt and move forward as a team."