Leicester Tigers claimed a second win in the Premiership Rugby Cup with eight tries in a 55-7 victory away to Wasps on Saturday.
Following up on the opening-round win over Sale Sharks, Tigers led Wasps by 10 points at half-time but then pulled away as Hosea Saumaki grabbed a hat-trick of tries to go with a double from Guy Porter.
The win also made it 10 in a row in league and cup from the start of the season and 11 in all including Round 22 of the last campaign.
Kini Murimurivalu ran in the opening try but Tigers added only a penalty to their tally for a 10-0 lead at half-time before pulling away against a young Wasps line-up.
Looking to stretch a winning run which began at Wasps in Round 22 last season, Tigers added four tries in the opening stages of the second half to put the game out of their rivals’ reach.
Saumaki celebrated his first Tigers try entering the last quarter-hour with Tigers sealing a seventh away win in succession for the first time since 1996 and the wing quickly added two more.
It was a decent afternoon’s work for a line-up which included George Martin, Tommy Reffell, Charlie Clare and Dan Kelly who were all added to the squad following the Round 1 win over Sale Sharks, while coach Brett Deacon also gave a debut to scrum-half Sam Edwards and gametime to other senior academy players from the bench.
In change colours of white, black and orange, the opening score came after the work of Saumaki and Porter took Tigers upfield on the left and then, when skipper Jack van Poortvliet broke from a ruck inside the Wasps 22, Murimurivalu was there in support to run in and score. Lancaster’s conversion made it 7-0.
Tigers sensed a second moments later when they overloaded the left and quickly spread ball to Saumaki, but he ran out of room close to the touchline.
Murimurivalu looked dangerous again as he broke out of defence and through tackles in midfield, but his offload found only a Wasps player and they were able to kick downfield. It put pressure on Tigers for a first time, playing in the corner. Green, though, won lineout ball and it was Ollie Chessum who kicked to touch.
Chessum then stole the resultant lineout but play was brought back for a Wasps free-kick and Tigers had to go through phases of defence before sending Wasps backwards.
Tigers used their attacking lineout to look for another opportunity but had to wait until Lancaster landed a 30-metre penalty to take the lead into double figures shortly before the half-hour.
Wasps fly-half Tommy Mathews had one sight of the posts in the half, but his kick hit the outside of the post as Tigers maintained that advantage.
The scoreboard moved more quickly at the start of the second half, however, as Green ran in for only his second Tigers try in 68 appearances after gains by Kelly and Porter through the middle.
Then Chessum broke the Wasps defensive line with a break on the left and, when Green arrived to pop ball off the floor, Porter raced through from 25 metres out.
On 56 minutes, the lead stretched even further when Whitcombe was the man in possession as a forward drive took play into the right-hand corner for his first score for the club – and on his 21st birthday.
Scrum-half Edwards was introduced for his debut as Brett Deacon spread gametime through the matchday squad, with Jacob Cusick, Dan Richardson and Tomiwa Agbongbon also gaining valuable minutes on the field.
Saumaki’s opening try on the left came after strong work by the forwards, before Wasps claimed their first points with a try by centre Olly Hartley, converted by Mathews on 71 minutes.
Tonga international Saumaki added his second with power and nimble footwork as Edwards spotted his run to the blindside behind a maul on 76 minutes and he completed a late treble by finishing in the same spot after the forwards had taken play up to the tryline on the opposite flank.