Leicester needed just 40 minutes to put the seal on a clinical 62-15 bonus-point victory against Benetton Treviso at Welford Road.
Leicester needed just 40 minutes to record a clinical 62-15 Heineken Cup bonus-point victory against Benetton Treviso at Welford Road on Sunday.
Tigers will, however, be forced to travel in the last-eight as Pool rivals Perpignan claimed a maximum five points at home to the Scarlets.
It was another impressive performance from the former champions that will no doubt strike fear into whomever hosts them April. Jordan Crane was immense and proved once again to Martin Johnson that he is capable of filling in should he ever overlook Nick Easter. England will also be encouraged by the form of half-back pairing Ben Youngs and Toby Flood who, behind a dominant pack, ran the Leicester machine efficiently.
Treviso had come out of the blocks strongly, and in fact took the lead in the first minute via a Kristopher Burton drop-goal that duly awoke their hosts. Leicester began by throwing the ball around a little too much, leading to them making a handful of errors before Flood got them level from the tee. However, the signs were there that the English giants were beginning to take a stranglehold of the game.
The scrum was a major player in the game and brought Leicester's first try as Crane capitalised at the base on seventeen minutes. The home side were beginning to turn the screw in other areas too and when number eight Crane found a hole 30 metres out, New Zealander Scott Hamilton was on hand to finish showing real pace and a good fend.
Leicester's supporters must have known that the writing was on the wall at Welford Road when Crane went over for a similar score to his first on 31 minutes and so it proved as the bonus-point score came before the half-time whistle. This time it was Alesana Tuilagi getting over thanks to a lovely break made from his brother Manu, who scored late on.
The turnaround saw a lot of the same although this time it was Leicester who struck early when Crane sealed his hat-trick in quick time before his back-row colleague Thomas Waldrom got over following a mini-break from Flood. The latter's extras making the scoreboard terrible reading for Treviso.
Later scores from Leicester came through Hamilton's second, the younger Tuilagi and replacement Alfi Mafi while the Italians got over via Brendan Williams and Alberto Sgarbi.
Tries: Crane 3, Hamilton 2, A Tuilagi, Waldrom, M Tuilagi, Mafi
Con: Flood 7
Tries: Williams, Sgarbi
Leicester: 15 Scott Hamilton, 14 Matt Smith, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Craig Newby, 6 Thomas Waldrom, 5 George Skivington, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Dan Cole, 2 George Chuter, 1 Marcos Ayerza,
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Steve Mafi, 21 James Grindal, 22 Jeremy Staunton, 23 Horacio Agulla.
Treviso: 15 Brendan Williams, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Ezio Galon, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Joseph Maddock, 10 Kristopher Burton, 9 Fabio Semenzato, 8 Paul Derbyshire, 7 Valerio BernabÃ², 6 Benjamin Vermaak, 5 Corniel Van Zyl, 4 Enrico Pavanello, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Franco Sbaraglini, 17 Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet, 18 Pedro Di Santo, 19 Antonio Pavanello, 20 Alessandro Zanni, 21 Alberto Sgarbi, 22 Tobias Botes, 23 Tommaso Benvenuti.
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), CÃ©deric Marchat (France)