Tigers dominated possession and territory but were frustrated by the Newcastle defence before full-back Murphy scored his fourth try of the campaign, six minutes before the break.
No8 Brett Deacon punched a hole in the Newcastle defence which laid the platform for Murphy to join the line and receive Toby Flood’s pass and cross 10m from the left touchline. Fly-half Flood, who was playing against his former club, kicked the conversion to add to an earlier penalty.
Tigers had gone close moments earlier when Craig Newby crashed his way over the line but dropped the ball in touching down. And there
Newby and Deacon were named in the back row as Heyneke Meyer made a number of changes to the team. Meyer brought in George Chuter and Boris Stankovich while Marco Wentzel came into the second row.
Prop Martin Castrogiovanni was named among the replacements, his first appearance in the matchday 22 this season, while Ben Herring was also back in the squad after a recovering from a hamstring injury.