Lewis Moody (2), Johne Murphy and Toby Flood all touched down in the period leading up to half-time as Tigers returned to the top of the Guinness Premiership table with just two fixtures remaining.
“I thought the first-half performance was the best we have played for a long time, especially in the conditions,” said head coach Richard Cockerill after watching his team record a 31-7 victory on a testing afternoon in the North-East.
The sun disappeared behind the clouds just as Tigers arrived at Kingston Park, to be replaced by persistent rain and a strong wind, but Tigers made the most of having the elements at the backs in the first half.
“We attacked pretty well, we possibly could have had another couple of tries in the first half,” Cockerill added.
“The main focus this week was on doing the simple things really well and we did that, which is really important in these conditions. Our ball skills were really good, Tony Flood controlled it well and, when they threw everything at us in the second half, our defence was outstanding again too.
“We’re delighted to come away with the win and five points just when we needed it.”
A first win at Kingston Park since 2004 helped to warm a large contingent of travelling supporters in a 6,825-strong crowd, and Cockerill said: “The supporters are very important to the team. The effort they put in to come such a long way in horrendous conditions was really important to us. The whole club appreciates it.”
Tigers return to home ground with the visit of Harlequins to Welford Road this Saturday (3pm). Tickets are available now. Phone the Tigers ticket hotline on 0844 856 1880, click here to book online or call in at the ticket office at Welford Road (open 8.30am-5pm Monday-Friday and until 8pm on Wednesday, as well as from 9am on Saturday).