Aviva Premiership: Leicester bounce back with six-try demolition of Sale
Last Updated: 03/03/13 9:56pm
Edward Slater touches down for one of his two tries at Welford Road
Leicester Tigers heaped more misery on rock-bottom Sale with a commanding 48-10 bonus-point victory at Welford Road.
Tigers, who had lost their last two league fixtures and were without six players retained by England, rain in six tries during a thoroughly one-sided win, which puts them level on points with second-placed Saracens, who play London Welsh on Sunday.
Edward Slater struck twice in the first half in between a penalty try and Matt Smith added two tries of his own before Mathew Tait completed the rout. George Ford enjoyed a 100 per cent record from the tee.
Sale, who claimed a late consolation through Andy Powell, remain three points adrift at the foot of the Aviva Premiership table.
England flanker Tom Croft, making his 100th Leicester start, got Leicester off to a fine start, taking the kick off two-handed before surging into the 22, a move which led to a penalty for Ford.
It set the tone for the half which Leicester won 27-3, although the margin would have been much bigger had the Leicester backs converted all the chances that came their way.
They scored three tries, two from lock Slater, the other a penalty try, with Ford converting all three and also kicking two penalties. Sale's points came from a penalty by Nick Macleod on their only visit to the Leicester half.
After Ford's early penalty it took Leicester 25 minutes to rattle the scoreboard again. Thomas Waldrom thought he had scored but referee Wayne Barnes spotted a knock-on in the move, but Slater struck soon after.
Macleod pulled three points back with a long range penalty but conceded one from the restart which Ford banged over.
Leicester made it 20-3 when they were awarded a penalty try, winger Tom Brady receiving a yellow card for taking Leicester winger Adam Thompstone out off the ball when he was about to score from Dan Bowden's grubber kick.
Ford converted that and right on half time he also converted Leicester's third try from the right touchline, Slater surging through a hole on the right before hitting the gas for the best try of the half.
Leicester centre Smith added the bonus point swiftly after the interval and the Tigers threatened to run riot when the same player waltzed through the Sale defence to score under the posts in the 54th minute to make it 41-3.
Sale stopped the rot but in the 68th minute they found themselves attacking Leicester's line one minute and conceding a sixth try the next, full-back Tait scoring after a great counter before Powell's late consolation.