Leicester Tigers made it three wins from three games in this season's LV= Cup with a 17-8 victory over East Midlands neighbours Northampton Saints at Welford Road on Saturday afternoon.
Sebastian de Chaves and Laurence Pearce scored their first tries in a Tigers shirt as Leicester consolidated their place at the top of Pool 3 after three rounds.
De Chaves scored early in the game after good work by Jack Roberts and Niall Morris, before Pearce finished Roberts' 45m break to give Tigers a 14-3 half-time lead.
Saints scored a consolation try in the second half but two conversions and a late penalty for Owen Williams meant they left Welford Road without any match points.
A sold-out Welford Road set a record attendance for an LV= Cup pool stage fixture, the 24,000 tickets sold eclipsing the previous record of 20,616 set at the visit of Bath Rugby to Welford Road last January.
Niall Morris made his first start since Round 3 of the Aviva Premiership in September on his comeback from an ankle injury. Roberts made his first start at centre and there was a starting debut for USA international lock Greg Peterson.
Sam Harrison captained the side, partnering Owen Williams at half-back. Terrence Hepetema was included in the matchday squad for the first time this season, and there was a place in the 23 for the first time for Jack Whetton.
Tigers began the game on the front foot with Pearce, Roberts and Fraser Balmain testing the Saints defence with early carries.
Williams kicked to the corner with an early penalty, and it paid dividends when the resulting lineout resulted in the game's opening try.
The lineout drive was stopped just short but Roberts and Morris sucked in defenders with their runs and de Chaves finished from close range for his first try in Tigers colours. Williams added the extras to put Tigers 7-0 up after seven minutes.
Morris was heavily involved in the early action, leaping above Tom Collins to claim a Williams up-and-under.
But Tigers came under pressure when Matt Smith overran Roberts' pass and Jamie Elliott kicked into the Leicester 22. However, de Chaves was alert to the danger and mopped up the loose ball.
Another knock-on gave Saints the put-in at a scrum on the Leicester 22 and when the visitors were awarded a penalty, Will Hooley kicked their first points of the contest.
The game was punctuated with handling errors by both sides underlined by Williams' break into the 22 coming to an end when his offload went forward.
A stunning outside break by Roberts took Tigers from their own half to within 10m of the Saints line and had Welford Road on its feet. Roberts had men in support and it was No8 Pearce who applied the finish from close range for his first Tigers try. Williams landed a simple conversion to give Tigers a 14-3 lead after 31 minutes.
Saints looked for an instant reply and almost got one when Teimana Harrison shrugged off Robert Barbieri before reaching for the line but he was just short and knocked on in the process.
Another strong drive from the Saints forwards took them up to the line moments later, but this time Thacker prevented the ball being grounded.
Saints had a series of scrums on the Tigers line as the half came to a close. They crossed from one of the scrums but referee Nigel Owens spotted an accidental offside and came back for an earlier penalty.
Eventually, Cam Dolan picked up from the base of the fourth scrum to signal one last attack but it came to an end through a knock-on by Tom Stephenson.
Tigers were the first to press in the second-half through a lineout in the Saints 22. Roberts made an incisive break off the back but Harrison's knock-on at the back of a ruck brought the attack to an end.
The third quarter was a stop-start affair with neither team making much headway on a sticky pitch amid plenty of handling errors.
But Saints grabbed their first try with 17 minutes remaining. Sam Olver created it with a grubber kick that allowed Howard Packman to score on the left. Olver's conversion landed short as Tigers led 14-8.
Tigers put together a period of possession that ended with a penalty as the Saints defence failed to roll. Williams opted to kick for goal and landed his kick to move Tigers more than one score ahead of their visitors.
Saints won the restart to signal a period of pressure on the Tigers defence. They inched their way up to the line but were unable to find a way over before Williams knocked-on as he tried to intercept a pass.
It gave Saints a scrum in the shadow of the posts where, under pressure from the Tigers eight, they were unable to maintain control and the ball squirmed loose for David Mele to hack clear and ensure Saints returned to Franklin's Gardens without any match points.