Leicester laid down a Heineken Cup marker on Sunday as a mixture of power and skill did for the Scarlets 46-10 at Welford Road.
Leicester Tigers put down a Heineken Cup marker on Sunday as a blend of power and individual skill from Ben Youngs did for the Scarlets 46-10.
It was a ruthless effort from Richard Cockerill's men as a second-half spell saw them run in five tries as the Welsh region began to wish they had not awoken the Welford Road beast.
That awakening came when the visitors scored the opening points of the fixture, demonstrating at that point they could be a match for the Tigers. However, their cracking long-range try – finished off by Morgan Stoddart – was their main highlight.
Leicester hit back and capitalised on all of their early body shots with Youngs, Thomas Waldrom, Tom Croft (2) and Matt Smith adding to Martin Castrogiovanni's score on seventeen minutes.
The hosts' response form Stoddart's score only took two minutes as they took advantage of a blatant forward pass, missed by referee George Clancy, sending Smith racing down the right. The ball went loose but the Tigers' pack regathered to drive Castrogiovanni over, bang in-form Toby Flood's conversion levelled the scores.
Flood, returning from a knee injury that had sidelined him since the first day of the season, then missed with a straightforward penalty attempt which would have put them in front.
The Scarlets somehow survived a period of sustained pressure as Leicester's pack surged over the line but were held up, before the home side failed to make the most of their scrum dominance as the creaking visiting pack held out.
But the west Wales side's defensive effort was taking its toll with a stream of penalties keeping them pinned in their own quarter, and Flood was on target from bang in front of the sticks in the 32nd minute as Leicester took the lead for the first time.
A powerful surge from Tuilagi saw the two-time champions step up the pressure and the inevitable yellow card followed when King became the latest Scarlet to infringe and Flood knocked over his second penalty.
The Welsh side saw Wales prop Rhys Thomas stretchered off with a knee injury, Deacon Manu his replacement, but responded well as Jones trimmed the gap with a penalty seconds before half-time.
But any hopes of an away win were effectively ended when Youngs carved through the away defence for a try less than two minutes into the second half which Flood converted.
King returned from the bin but things soon got worse when the visitors went to sleep after conceding a free-kick at a scrum, Youngs took the quick tap and fed Waldrom who simply waltzed through unhindered to score behind the posts, Flood again converted and the lead was out to 27-10.
The bonus point was secured after 51 minutes when captain Geordan Murphy made a half-break after grabbing a poor King pass and offloaded for Croft to rampage over for another converted score.
The Scarlets were in complete disarray and a fifth Leicester try arrived just after the hour mark as Tuilagi pounced on a loose ball in his own 22 and kicked deep downfield.
He penned in Lamont in front of his own sticks and the turnover ball was moved wide for Croft to saunter in for his second, again converted by Flood.
The rout was completed when Murphy burst onto a flat pass from Billy Twelvetrees. The full-back was brought down just short but Smith was left with an easy finish.
Tries: Castrogiovanni, Youngs, Waldrom, Croft 2, M Smith
Con: Flood 5
Pen: Flood 2
Con: S Jones
Pen: S Jones
Leicester Tigers: 15 Geordan Murphy (c), 14 Scott Hamilton, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Craig Newby, 6 Tom Croft, 5 George Skivington, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 George Chuter, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Steve Mafi, 20 Ben Woods, 21 James Grindal, 22 Billy Twelvetrees, 23 Manu Tuilagi.
Scarlets: 15 Rhys Priestland, 14 Morgan Stoddart, 13 Regan King, 12 Gareth Maule, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Martin Roberts, 8 David Lyons, 7 Rob McCusker, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Vernon Cooper, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Rhys Thomas, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Iestyn Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Deacon Manu, 19 Damian Welch, 20 Jon Edwards, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Scott Williams, 23 Daniel Evans.
Referee: George Clancy