Aviva Premiership: Leicester Tigers maul Newcastle Falcons
Leicester crushed Newcastle 31-6 as Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards made an unhappy return to Welford Road.
Last Updated: 21/09/13 7:14pm
Champions Leicester were much too strong for the newly-promoted visitors and won comfortably thanks to tries from Jordan Crane, Graham Kitchener, Blaine Scully, Dan Bowden and Thomas Waldrom.
Former Newcastle fly-half Toby Flood kicked two conversions, his replacement Owen Williams one, while in reply Falcons fly-half Rory Clegg slotted a penalty and a drop goal.
Newcastle's only victory at Welford Road came in 1997, Richards' 314th and last game for the Tigers before he took over as director of rugby and won two Heineken Cups and four Premiership titles.
The Falcons were 12-0 down after just 14 minutes, having conceded two tries and made little impression on the Tigers defence.
Number eight Crane got the first, a simple run-in on the left wing after Leicester had twice turned down chances to kick at goal. From the second line-out and drive they stormed the Falcons line before working the blindside for Crane to score a try which Flood failed to convert.
Lock Kitchener got the second after fantastic work by Manu Tuilagi, who smashed through the first line of defence, leaving two forwards, Will Welch and Carlo del Fava, sprawled on the ground, and dragged several more players into the 22 before putting Kitchener under the posts. Flood converted.
Clegg pulled three points back for Newcastle with a 26th-minute penalty and then six minutes later he dropped a goal set up by a fabulous break by lock Dominic Barrow, who might have created a try had he seen Welch steaming up on his outside.
Newcastle's relief at being back in the game lasted just a minute as, after a line-out, Tuilagi handed off full-back Alex Tait before putting Blaine Scully over for Leicester's third try which Flood failed to convert.
Leicester winger Vereniki Goneva thought he was over in the 47th minute but was pulled back by the referee for a forward pass.
The Falcons' scrum was then marched backwards but number eight Chris York brilliantly turned defence into attack with a barnstorming break out of his 22 down the left touchline.
Leicester earned a bonus point with their fourth try in the 52nd minute thanks to Kitchener who straightened the line and burst through a tackle before putting centre Dan Bowden over to make it 24-6. Flood converted.
Leicester's fifth try came 11 minutes from time after intense pressure on the Newcastle line, the impressive Waldrom getting the touchdown after a line-out and drive. Replacement fly-half Williams converted.
Leicester winger Adam Thompstone was sin-binned in the 77th minute for a deliberate knock-on as Newcastle launched a desperate but ultiamtely fruitless bid for a late try.