Leicester did their Aviva Premiership play-off hopes a power of good as they defeated Northampton 35-21 at Franklin's Gardens.
Leicester did their Aviva Premiership play-off hopes a power of good after they defeated Northampton 35-21 at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday.
Toby Flood scored 25 points and although Ryan Lamb rewarded Saints' early dominance with two penalties, the visiting Tigers took control through converted tries by Flood and Alesana Tuilagi.
Lamb added another from the tee, but scores from the visiting fly-half and Horacio Agulla confirmed their victory, despite late tries by Lee Dickson and Chris Ashton for the home side.
In what was effectively a must-win encounter for the Saints, considering Exeter Chiefs' impressive recent form, they dominated the opening stages.
The hosts' fly-half rewarded their supremacy with an early penalty before adding another after 12 minutes, as they took a 6-0 lead.
However, Leicester have displayed their attacking instincts throughout the season, shown by their place at the top of the try-scoring charts.
Immediately after the restart, Lamb's clearance kick was charged down and Flood had a simple run to the line. The same player converted before the visitors went on the attack again. From first-phase ball, play was moved wide to Agulla who showed superb skills to set up Tuilagi for their second try, Flood converting.
The two tens then traded penalties as the Tigers took a deserved 17-9 half-time lead.
Despite Northampton needing to find something extra, the visitors were simply clinical.
Flood went over for his second converted score and Agulla touched down out wide for the bonus-point.
Dickson then went over, Stephen Myler converting, as the Saints added some respectability to the scoreline.
Flood kicked another penalty, but Martin Castrogiovanni was then sin-binned for the visitors and Ashton crossed the whitewash in his absence.
Tries: Dickson, Ashton
Pen: Lamb 3
Tries: Flood 2, A Tuilagi, Agulla
Con: Flood 3
Pen: Flood 3
Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 George Pisi, 12 James Downey, 11 Paul Diggin, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Lee Dickson (capt), 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Phil Dowson, 6 James Craig, 5 Christian Day, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Andy Long, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Ross McMillan, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Paul Doran-Jones, 19 Mark Sorenson,20 Ben Nutley, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Stephen Myler, 23 Tom May.
Leicester Tigers: 15 Scott Hamilton, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 George Skivington, 3 Dan Cole, 2 George Chuter (capt), 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Martin Castrogiovanni, 18 Logovi'i Mulipola, 19 Steve Mafi, 20 Craig Newby, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Billy Twelvetrees, 23 Matt Smith.
Referee: Dave Pearson