Leicester Tigers were denied a try-bonus point but battled to a 22-10 victory over Newcastle Falcons to continue their fine Aviva Premiership Rugby run this season.
Newcastle made the better start and led 10-0 early on thanks to a try from Nili Latu, but they could not build on that platform and eventually came away with nothing.
Despite blowing a couple of great chances, Leicester did draw level by half-time, taking advantage of Falcons losing two men to the bin to cross through Telusa Veainu.
With the sides level at 10-10 at the break, Tigers flew out of the blocks in the second half, with a try from Peter Betham, before Laurence Pearce sealed the win late on.
The early pressure came from the away side though, as the Tigers found themselves down to 14 men as early as the fifth minute, with Fraser Balmain adjudged to have committed a tip tackle. The Falcons opted for the penalty with Craig Willis slotting over to give Newcastle a 3-0 lead.
The Falcons took full advantage of the extra man as pressure in the Tigers 22 led to a lineout, with Latu on the end of a catch and drive for the line with Willis adding the conversion for a ten-point lead.
The home side responded, going through a number of phases, though ultimately had to settle for a Freddie Burns penalty to cut the deficit to 10-3.
Leicester were beginning to find their feet as Newcastle lost their discipline with Belisario Agulla sent to the sin-bin for a needless tip tackle and Mark Wilson joining him moments later for failing to release.
This time Leicester took full advantage of the extra men as Veainu went over in the corner after finding space out wide with Burns adding the conversion from a tough angle to level the scores.
The Tigers thought they had added another try just minutes later as Mathew Tait crossed the line, but the try was called back after he was spotted knocking on.
Nevertheless, the momentum in the game had turned despite the scores remaining level at 10-10 going into the break.
That was evident barely two minutes into the second half as Betham broke a tackle to go over in the corner with Burns once again adding the conversion to put the Tigers into the lead for the first time.
Leicester threw everything they had at Newcastle in an effort to pick up a bonus point, but had to wait until the 73rd minute for a third try.
After a barrage of lineouts, Pearce burst over to score, though Burns missed the conversion and despite having some chances, Leicester couldn't find a way through in the closing minutes.
Boxing Day Sale! Click here to grab a bargain with 20% off tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on 28 May at Twickenham.