England duo Dan Cole and Manu Tuilagi marked their return to club duty with tries as Leicester thrashed holders Gloucester 40-14 in the LV= Cup.
The Tigers welcomed back a host of international stars on Friday night and their quality shone through as they picked their first home victory of the season at Welford Road.
Gloucester did score the first try of the night, though, through Dan Murphy, however four penalties from Toby Flood and tries from Cole and Manu Tuilagi saw the Tigers go into half-time in control.
The game was effectively over as a contest when Tom Youngs crashed over two minutes after the restart and despite a Lesley Vainikolo reply, Leicester had the final say through Horacio Agualla three minutes from time.
Leicester were quickly into their stride, taking a third-minute lead when Flood kicked a simple 20-metre penalty after Gloucester were penalised for an infringement at a ruck. The visitors soon had a chance to hit back when the Tigers offended at a scrum – but Freddie Burns missed narrowly with a 40-metre penalty attempt.
A huge touchfinder from Flood then put the Tigers deep into the opposition 22, and, with the Gloucester scrum faced with a fierce drive from the home pack, a penalty was conceded, and the England fly-half made no mistake with his kick.
After 20 minutes and against the run of play, Gloucester took the lead. From inside his own 22, Flood had his clearance kick charged down by Akapusi Qera and Murphy was on hand to pick up the loose ball and score a try which Burns converted.
Flood soon made amends by kicking a penalty after the visitors' pack were once again penalised at a set scrum. Another similar infringement soon followed with Gloucester prop Rupert Harden being warned by the referee and Flood banged over his fourth penalty from close on halfway.
On the half-hour the Tigers scored their first try. Jonny May carelessly lost possession and Leicester took full advantage as an excellent pass from Flood sent Cole through a gap to enable the prop to run 20 metres to score the try.
Flood converted this score and another from Manu Tuilagi on the stroke of half-time to leave the Tigers with a healthy 26-7 advantage at the interval.
Within three minutes of the restart Leicester had another try. This time Youngs was the scorer following forceful running from both Flood and Manu Tuilagi. Soon afterwards the latter left the field together with Scott Lawson as both suffered blood injuries following a clash of heads.
The home side relaxed with the game won, allowing Gloucester a period of pressure from which Vainikolo reduced the arrears with a disputed try. However, Tuilagi returned from the blood bin and Leicester resumed control of the match – and the centre made the break to send Agulla over for the Tigers' bonus point try two minutes from the end.