Speaking afterwards, Ford said Priestland performed well, but warned that his team were helped significantly by Brendan McKibbin's red card.
"The way Rhys has fitted in, the way we've got him to go to the line, he's getting there with Kyle (Eastmond) and George (Ford) and you can see what will happen with those three now," he told reporters.
"I thought Rhys was brilliant, he's really settled in well. We couldn't handle their drive, I think the discipline of our defence was poor, and then the turning point (McKibbin's red card) was massive.
"That turnaround is good fortune for us, bad luck for them. I thought in the first off we should have kicked on more, at 17-7 we should have been on more."
Bath are now fifth, two points outside the end-of-season playoff places.