Howe’s charges tore into their rivals from the first whistle, taking a three-goal lead and hitting the post within the first half an hour of last night's 4-1 trouncing of the troubled Yorkshire outfit.
Francis, who maintained his record of playing every minute of every game this season, more than played his part in Cherries’ rip-roaring opening, providing the assists for all three strikes.
The sweet success came 24 years after Leeds had relegated Cherries from Division Two with a 1-0 win at Dean Court on the last day of the season amid violent scenes attributed to visiting supporters.
And Francis felt that hearing that tale of woe for the first time had added to the determination of his Cherries team-mates to dominate Leeds from the outset.
Francis told the Daily Echo: “The manager underlined the history between the two clubs and it was something I hadn’t been too aware of to be honest. That made it a big occasion, especially for the fans, and we were also very aware that Leeds had been having their problems.
“We knew if we started quickly and pressed them high that we could set the tone for the game both on the pitch and in the stands. We did that very well and got our rewards.
“Maybe we didn’t expect it all to happen quite so quickly but it was the perfect start for us and we couldn’t have asked for any more than being three up at half-time.”
Meanwhile, Francis was happy to complete a rare treble, although he admitted his first assist was far from intentional.
“I don’t know if you could call the first an assist, I was trying to score but, fortunately, Yann managed to get a toe on it," he added.
“The other two were really pleasing and to get three assists in a game was pretty special for me. The gaffer has always had good things to say about me getting forward and it’s a side of the game I really enjoy.
“With Ian Harte’s ability to deliver a ball, he doesn’t need to bomb up and down as much. It was a culmination of a couple of months’ work in training and practice in games and I was delighted to play my part.”