Leicester secured a home semi-final and moved further clear at the top of the Aviva Premiership with a 24-13 win over Newcastle.
Leicester secured a home semi-final and moved further clear at the top of the Aviva Premiership table with a 24-13 win over Newcastle.
The below-par champions claimed tries through Matt Smith, Alesana Tuilagi and James Grindal to ensure the Falcons went home empty-handed.
Alan Tait's men remain level on points with Leeds Carnegie but above them on points difference, with both sides having two matches left to play.
An early penalty from Newcastle fly-half Jimmy Gopperth put the home side ahead but the Tigers gradually assumed control and went ahead through Tuilagi's try in the 16th minute.
Leicester number 10 Jeremy Staunton converted the score and then added a penalty to stretch the visitors' lead in the 32nd minute.
Despite their physical dominance, Leicester struggled to create openings and another penalty from Gopperth kept Newcastle in contention at the break.
However, Richard Cockerill's men began to move through the gears after the restart and Smith touched down in the 47th minute for a try which Staunton converted.
Yet Newcastle refused to lie down and claimed their only try of the game in the 57th minute when Tongan centre Tane Tu'ipulotu went over and Gopperth added the extras.
That put the Falcons on course for precious losing bonus point but Leicester had other ideas and Grindal went over in the 73rd minute and Staunton booted his third conversion.
Pens: Gopperth 2
Tries: Grindal, Smith, A Tuilagi
Cons: Staunton 3
Newcastle:15 Tom Catterick, 14 Alex Tait, 13 Rob Vickerman, 12 Tane Tu'ipulotu, 11 Luke Fielden, 10 Jimmy Gopperth (c), 9 Chris Pilgrim, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Will Welch, 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Andrew van der Heijden, 4 Filipo Levi, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Matt Thompson, 1 Jonny Golding.
Replacements: 16 Rob Vickers, 17 Grant Shiells, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Alex Gray, 21 Micky Young, 22 Luke Eves, 23 Gcobani Bobo.
Leicester: 15 Scott Hamilton, 14 Matt Smith, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Jeremy Staunton, 9 James Grindal, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Craig Newby (c), 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 Calum Green, 20 Ben Woods, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Billy Twelvetrees, 23 Horacio Agulla.
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth