Leicester Tigers secured a bonus-point win at Harlequins on Sunday, with two tries from Tommy Reffell contributing to a 27-19 victory in Round 6 of the Gallagher Premiership season.
Tries from Reffell and Julián Montoya were reward for Tigers’ efforts in the first half as they reached the break 12-0 in front.
Protecting a home record showing just one defeat in the league since February and an unbeaten record here against Tigers since September 2017, Quins conceded a third try as Reffell scored again midway through the second half.
Quins carved one out in reply with 10 minutes remaining before Anthony Watson ran in the bonus-point score, though the hosts had a final word with a breakaway try to bring the game to a close.
Watson was making his 100th Premiership appearance as head coach Steve Borthwick brought Reffell, Chris Ashton and Ben Youngs into the starting line-up after missing the Round 5 defeat against Sale, while Joe Marler led out Quins in his 250th game for the club.
Freddie Burns got the game started and his chip, nudged on by Matt Scott in pursuit, had Quins backtracking early on, and the hosts were then penalised twice on the Tigers left, leading to the opening score.
Set-piece pressure on the left, with the forwards taking play up towards the tryline, gave Ben Youngs the chance to feed support near the corner flag and it was Reffell who found enough space to get over the line.
Burns was off target with the conversion but spilled ball at the restart had Quins on the back foot again, Tyrone Green just escaping pressure from Harry Potter and Ashton as he raced back to field ball.
Green then threatened in attack on the left but Tigers recovered quickly to win a penalty at a breakdown 25 metres out.
Nemani Nadolo emerged as a replacement for Ashton as the Tigers forward worked their way up the right touchline, but Luke Northmore then stripped ball only to slightly overcook his kick to touch.
Hanro Liebenberg stole useful lineout ball from Quins as the home crowd aired some frustration, but their team soon built phases of possession in attack, mostly on their left side where Scott twice stepped in with important tackles.
They lost another lineout just five metres out, as Liebenberg emerged with the ball and kicked up to halfway.
On the half-hour, a penalty award gave Quins another good position on the right after a break by Green and it almost brought a try for Northmore. Reffell, though, had his arms around the centre and knocked the ball loose, and the TMO confirmed no score.
Offloading from Jasper Wiese and James Cronin put Reffell away through the middle and Youngs arrived in support before Quins closed in. But the whistle went in Tigers’ favour and also led to a second try.
Playing from a lineout on the left, Montoya stayed patient before breaking off to force his way in for his first try of the season and Burns converted for a 12-point lead around the half-hour.
Watson and Potter shut out a Quins attack as they played to space on the left and the home team were then penalised as they built the next phase of possession with the clock up to 40 minutes with 12 points separating the teams.
The second half almost brought a third score for Tigers as Scott ran in fine line to break clear from midway, only for Quins to block Freddie Steward and then Potter in front of their own line and winning turnover ball just a few metres out on the right side.
Quins started to look dangerous playing through the midfield before Harry Wells made a one-handed turnover in the tackle area, allowing Youngs to kick clear.
Joe Marchant then picked his way through broken field but Quins spilled ball near the left touchline as Tigers worked back in defence.
That pressure provided the platform for try number three, with Scott again involved before Reffell dived into the left corner for his second score of the afternoon and a 17-point lead.
Potter had to work hard in defence as Smith chipped ahead, and Tyrone Green was left floored as the two contested the bouncing ball. He left the field, replaced by Nick David.
Wells slapped back lineout ball inside the Tigers half and then Montoya won a penalty on the floor and Tigers looked to control field position again.
Another turnover won on halfway stopped Quins but when they regained ball, Steward checked the progress on Marchant near the touchline.
But Quins returned to the attack and this time made the breakthrough with a Cadan Murley try, creating space on the left after option for scrum ball at a penalty in a central position. Marcus Smith’s conversion cut the gap to 10 points with 10 minutes to go.
Burns scuffed an attempt at a drop goal after the restart but then had the ball on the tee after van Poortvliet was tackled in the air as he field the kick from Smith, kicking the points for a 13-point advantage.
That increased three minutes later as Watson marked his 100th Premiership appearance by picking off a pass from Andre Esterhuizen on the Quins 22 to score the bonus-point try and his first in Tigers colours. The conversion from Burns made it 7-27.
Murley added his second score of the day with a run-in on the left and Quins claimed another in the last play of the game but still remained empty-handed.
Tigers were looking for a score of their own as the clock ticked beyond 80 minutes but, after a maul was stopped short, Murley picked up loose ball and raced clear. Although scrum-half van Poortvliet hunted down the wing a few metres short of the Tigers tryline, Quins had options in support and Danny Care ran in under the posts. the Smith conversion was the final action of the afternoon.