Leicester Tigers scored seven tries in a 48-3 victory over Worcester Warriors at Sixways Stadium on Saturday in Round 5 of the Gallagher Premiership season.
An early 10-point advantage came courtesy of Harry Potter’s third try of the season and five kicked points from George Ford before Tigers claimed two more scores to reach half-time 22-3 in front thanks to Matias Moroni and Julian Montoya.
Warriors, though, fought back strongly in the opening phases of the second half as Tigers defended their line, also seeing out a yellow card without conceding any points before cutting loose again attack.
Richard Wigglesworth, Nemani Nadolo and Freddie Burns all scored their first tries of the season while Nic Dolly came off the bench to grab with fifth as the scoreboard continued to move during the final quarter.
After away wins over Gloucester and London Irish, Tigers completed the hat-trick on their early-season travels and preserve the last remaining unbeaten record in the division following Sale’s win over Harlequins on Friday evening.
Montoya and Moroni were given their first starts of the season by Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick and Marco van Staden made his first starting appearance for the club while Jasper Wiese was welcomed back from international duty for his first club game of the campaign.
British & Irish Lions wing Duhan van der Merwe and prop Rory Sutherland, who were both recruited in the summer, make their home debuts for Warriors.
Tigers took an early lead from a penalty, gained from a scrum which followed a rampaging run from van Staden. The Springbok took off from a standing start at the back of messy lineout ball and took defenders with him as he reached the opposition 22 in an early glimpse of his physicality.
A second scrum penalty on 10 minutes took play into the right-hand corner and, playing with advantage, Ford picked out Nadolo on the left wing. He caught the high ball and shifted on to Freddie Steward on his right shoulder but just failed to turn into a score as the ball bounced loose.
But play came back for a penalty again and, despite stopping the lineout drive, Worcester were caught out as Genge shifted ball back and Potter broke through two tackles to score net to the posts. Ford’s extras made it 10-0.
Warriors got off the mark with a long-range kick from fly-half billy Searle but spent the remainder of the half on the defensive as Tigers claimed two more tries and went close on a number of other occasions.
Freddie Steward, who just failed to capitalise on a fine catch and offload from Nemani Nadolo from Ford’s cross-kick, and then Moroni and Potter had all gone close to adding to the points haul as Warriors were pinned back.
But then Moroni marked his first appearance of the season with a score on the half-hour, built on the pressure among the forwards at successive lineout drives on the right and finished on the opposite side after Ford popped a perfect pass.
Just three more minutes had elapsed when Moroni’s international captain Montoya added the next try on the back of another lineout drive on the right, referee Luke Pearce giving the on-field decision and checking with the TMO before confirming the score as the lead reached 22-3.
But Tigers ended the half back near their own line but stood up to a Warriors penalty with Potter ripping ball in the tackle as they reached the break 19 points in front and chasing a fifth successive win of the season.
Tiger spent the opening 10 minutes of the second period pinned back in their own territory but after giving away a run of penalties they also stood up with a man short after a yellow card to Hanro Liebenberg before finally claiming their fourth try of the day.
For the visiting supporters it was well worth the wait as Ford chipped to the left and Nadolo took on the Warriors defence near the touchline before scooping a one-handed pass to Wigglesworth to run in.
Ford’s conversion made it 29-3 but they were denied another just moments later when Freddie Steward ran in on the right but play came back for a penalty against van Staden at the breakdown.
There was still time though to add three more tries to complete a dominant performance.
Dolly, on as a replacement, finished on the left after Nadolo had again burst through the defence, linking cleverly with Scott to set the hooker in for his fifth try of the season.
Although Burns, on for Ford, missed the conversion attempt, he was on the mark just three minutes later when Nadolo got individual reward for his own performance with a try on the left after more impressive work from Scott.
That made it 41-3 and Burns provided the final score, spotting space in behind the Warriors defence with a trademark chip and chase, just getting to the bouncing ball in time to score the seventh of the day and added the extras for good measure.