An emotional Kyle Sinckler admitted "I have never had so much anger inside me" after responding to his British and Irish Lions omission in man-of-the-match fashion for Bristol.
England prop Sinckler delivered a dominant display as Gallagher Premiership leaders Bristol beat Bath 40-20 at the Recreation Ground and secured a play-off place.
Sinckler was among several high-profile players overlooked by Warren Gatland and his fellow coaches for the Lions' South Africa tour this summer, failing to make a final 37-man cut.
"I am not going to lie - I am emotional," Sinckler told BT Sport after the Bears victory.
"I kind of understand the reasons why, but in a year or two's time I will be back on it and it will all make sense.
"Right now, it doesn't make sense, but what I wanted to do was to lead by example and show the kids.
"How easy would it have been (for) me to play the victim, to say sorry me or to throw my toys out of the pram.
"It has been so tough - I have never experienced something like this in my career.
"I wanted to use that anger - I have never had so much anger inside me - and I used it in a positive way to do what is best for the team."
Bristol boss Pat Lam, meanwhile, paid tribute to the way that Sinckler handled his Lions heartache.
Lam said: "It was a big shock. Why was it a shock? Because I think every pundit had him in.
"Every single person had him in the squad, but the way he handled himself was superb.
"To play like he did today was a credit to him. He will keep working hard, and you never know - there is a lot of rugby to be played between now and then (Lions departure for South Africa).
"He will bounce back. It is a big moment for him as a rugby player, but also as a man."