Leicester 50-17 Bristol: Eight-try Tigers thrash Bristol
Last Updated: 18/02/17 5:46pm
Leicester thrashed Bristol 50-17 to take their points haul from two successive home games to 84.
The Tigers, who beat Gloucester by a season's record score of 34-9 the previous week, set another record and hit Bristol with eight tries in front of a crowd of 21,848.
The bonus-point win boosts their hopes of a top-four finish. South Africa Test star JP Pietersen scored twice, the others coming from Pat Cilliers, Telusa Veainu, Brendon O'Connor, Adam Thompstone, Greg Bateman and Owen Williams who converted five. Rob Hawkins and Jamal Ford-Robinson scored for Bristol.
Leicester recalled fit-again full-back Veainu and winger Pietersen, and fielded two centres who are leaving at the end of the season, Jack Roberts to Cardiff and Maxime Mermoz to Newcastle.
Bristol included centre Siale Piutau, who made his first start since joining in January, and former Leicester No 8 Jordan Crane.
After weathering a three-minute Leicester onslaught, Bristol took the lead in the seventh minute with a penalty from full-back Jason Woodward.
But that was as good as it got for the bottom club, who shipped five tries in 17 frantic minutes in their first game at Leicester since they lost 73-3 at Leicester City's stadium in 2009 - the year they were relegated.
Cilliers, blood streaming from a face wound, got the ball rolling with his first try for the Tigers when he slipped a tackle in the 12th minute to score from close range, and four minutes later Williams barged his way past some more poor tackling to score near the posts.
Williams added the conversion and then converted tries from Pietersen and Veainu.
The TMO awarded the try to Pietersen in the 24th minute after the ball had bounced forward off the South African's knee, while Veainu twisted and turned his way through the Bristol defence three minutes later to earn Leicester a bonus point.
The fifth try, Pietersen finishing off a fabulous counter attack from Veainu, was arguably the best.
With 18 seconds left in the first half Bristol finally got on the scoresheet when hooker Rob Hawkins scored from close range, with Woodward adding the conversion.
It took Leicester nine minutes of the second half to score their sixth try, O'Connor charging down Tusi Pisi's clearance, and Thompstone got the seventh in the 56th minute after scrum-half Sam Harrison worked the blindside from a driving maul.
Thompstone had one disallowed by the TMO but Bateman got the eighth in the 67th minute from a driving maul, with Williams' touchline conversion bringing up the half century.
Bristol replacement prop Ford-Robinson then scored from a charge-down moments later, with Woodward adding the conversion.