Toby Flood ran the show against his former club Newcastle as Leicester inflicted the Falcons’ fifth straight GUINNESS PREMIERSHIP defeat.
The fly-half moved to Welford Road from Newcastle in the summer and contributed 10 points with the boot as well as setting up Geordan Murphy for the game’s opening try.
Centre Aaron Mauger grabbed the Tigers second score after 65 minutes but Leicester were far from their rampaging best without rested England stars Tom Croft, Jordan Crane, Dan Hipkiss and the suspended Harry Ellis.
Newcastle’s only points came from replacement Steve Jones’ second-half penalty but they battled gamely with a number of their players suffering from a virus.
Fly-half Rory Clegg and Adam Balding were ruled out by the bug but it was Tigers who started sluggishly with both teams engaged in a kicking game during the early stages.
Newcastle wasted a golden opportunity to take a surprise lead when 18-year-old Rob Miller was wide of the posts with a penalty after 14 minutes.
It was not until midway through the first half that Tigers began to find their stride with Flood being smothered just short of the tryline by some desperate Newcastle defending.
However, it was not long until they made their pressure count through Flood’s well-struck penalty after 22 minutes.
Six minutes later, they were unlucky not to score the game’s first try after a terrific phase of play.
Lewis Moody was given space to run into after fine work by Flood and Mauger only to be denied by a full-back Tom May’s try-saving challenge.
The Tigers continued to turn the screw and they did score the game’s opening try in the 34th minute with Flood again at the heart of the action.
In a sweeping move from right to left the 23-year-old’s astute pass put Ireland star Murphy over in the corner.
Flood’s conversion from a tight angle saw the Tigers head into break 10-0 up.
Leicester boss Heyneke Meyer threw on Martin Corry and Tom Varndell as the home side looked to build on their advantage.
Flood added a second penalty in the 49th minute after John Rudd was penalised for holding on.
Newcastle boss Steve Bate’s injury woes then increased when scrum half Hall Charlton hobbled off with a back injury, although he did watch his team get themselves on the board in the 59th minute thanks to replacement fly-half Jones’ penalty.
But any hopes of a comeback were swiftly dispelled when Leicester got their second try six minutes later.
Replacement Ben Youngs made ground before fizzing a pass to Mauger who held off May’s tackle to pile over for a converted try.
The Tigers never looked like grabbing two further tries for the bonus point although Flood did set off on a jinking run from inside his own half before miscuing his pass to Youngs on the Newcastle 22.