Lucas Amorosino and Anthony Allen scored tries and Jeremy Staunton kicked 19 points as Tigers thrilled the majority of the 23,600 crowd at Welford Road.
Mauger, making only his second start of the season, said: “The team showed a lot of heart, especially when we down in our own 22. The boys kept getting up and making the hits and getting back into position to make those crucial tackles. We showed a lot of what we are about.
“You could not have asked for much more from the boys. The pride in the shirt was great and it got its rewards in the end.”
Victory pushed Tigers into the top four in the Guinness Premiership and was achieved without six England players ahead of the autumn internationals, as well as a lengthy list of injury absentees. But the response of the matchday 23 delighted the captain.
“For us to come out and put it on the line today was massive,” he said.
“It will be nice to have those other guys back fit and available again, but guys out there at the moment have to take credit for where are in the table.”
Martin Castrogiovanni, named Guinness Premiership man of the match, said the result was built on the desire to banish memories of the defeat at London Irish last weekend.
“We were disappointed last week from a forward’s point of view, but we stepped up today,” he said.
“We are missing a lot of players but everybody in this squad is a good player and this shows what we can do.”