Tom Brady’s first try for Leicester Tigers and a brilliant individual score from Telusa Veainu paved the way for a dominant Aviva Premiership Rugby bonus-point win against Worcester Warriors at Welford Road.
Second-half scores from Logovi’I Mulipola and Graham Kitchener added to Brady and Veainu’s first-half efforts to seal a 34-13 win, while a late Jaba Bregvadze try for Worcester was the only blot on what otherwise was an outstanding Tigers defensive display.
The Warriors began with purpose – wing Perry Humphreys with some excellent work over the ball to earn an early turnover, which saw Jamie Shillcock kick for the corner in the opening moments.
That intent however was not rewarded with any points as Worcester were penalised for holding on just a metre or so from the Leicester try line.
A high tackle on Dom Barrow from Donncha O’Callaghan allowed Owen Williams the chance to open the scoring with a penalty from just left of centre on eight minutes.
His opposite number Ryan Lamb though couldn’t even things up minutes later from a central position – his penalty lacking the distance and direction.
Williams kicked over another penalty after Val Rapava Ruskin was penalised at the scrum for 6-0, before Brady put the Tigers further ahead with Leicester’s first try of the afternoon.
Some excellent forward momentum from Ellis Genge allowed Williams to provide a perfect pass for Brady to step inside his man and run in under the posts on his home debut – Williams with the conversion.
A tight Leicester defence continued to frustrate their opponents on the half-hour when a powerful run from Dean Hammond was stopped a metre short of the line, Adam Thompstone then getting in over the ball to earn the penalty.
The Tigers then had their second score courtesy of a brilliant individual effort from Veainu, the New Zealander running in from halfway having bumped off tackles from Phil Dowson and Jonny Arr.
There was still time in the half for Humphreys to mount a dangerous break for the corner but he was well tackled by Thompstone – a crucial member of an excellent Leicester defence in the first half.
Lamb finally got Worcester on the board with a penalty four minutes into the second half and he capitalised again five minutes later as the Tigers penalty count continued to increase.
Searching for their third score Williams kicked Leicester to the corner after earning a kickable penalty as the game entered its final quarter but some illegal obstruction from Marcos Ayerza allowed Worcester the chance to clear.
The Tigers were back in the Worcester 22 shortly afterwards though and although Mulipola muscled his way over they try line, the replays showed the ball was held up.
An injury to replacement Naama Leleimalefaga resulted in uncontested scrums between the two teams and from the resulting 5m scrum, Mulipola this time touched down after a few phases of play.
Worcester valiantly fought their way back with a first ever Premiership try from Bregvadze, Lamb converting to cut Leicester’s lead to 14 points with 11 minutes remaining.
But Kitchener’s bonus-point score, coming after a series of phases under the posts, ensured the Tigers came away with a maximum points haul.