Leicester Tigers stole a bonus point 34-3 win over Benetton Treviso at Welford Road on Friday night.
It wasn’t until the last play of the game that Adam Thompstone broke through to claim his club’s fourth try and what could be a vital bonus point.
The Tigers managed to bounce back from their 22-16 defeat to the hands of Ulster last week, and ignite their Heineken Cup campaign with their first win in Pool 5.
In a scrappy and far from perfect first half, Leicester managed to establish a 13-0 lead at the break, through two penalties from fly-half Toby Flood and a converted Thomas Waldrom try three minuted before the break.
A further two tries came in the second period, thanks to Tom Youngs and Blaine Scully, before Adam Thompstone sealed the game’s bonus point.
As ever for the Tigers, Toby Flood was a key man, scoring 14 points for his side, in comparison to Treviso’s Tobias Botes who gave the Italian side their only points through a penalty.
Treviso endured a difficult trip to the English Midlands, with three yellow cards awarded upon them throughout the game.
However, Leicester were not without their own troubles – already without a number of key players, including both starting centres – suffered a number of knocks throughout the game, including Fijian centre Vereniki Goneva who went off with a leg injury after just four minutes.
Both sides were set to attack from the off, however, numerous handling errors, missed lineouts and incomplete scrums made for an all in all frustrating first half.
However, with only a few minutes to go before the break, some built-up frustration was relieved as Thomas Waldrom crashed over the whitewash from a lineout catch-and-drive.
As the teams returned to the field, the Tigers continued from where they left off and almost opened the half with a score. Waldrom was denied his second as referee Pascal Gauzere deemed the score a double movement.
Treviso then began to fight back, as the Italian side worked their way into good field position. Hooker Tom Youngs was then penalised for coming in at the side of a maul. Treviso were awarded a penalty and Botes made no mistake in adding the three points.
With the gap at only 10 points, Leicester began to turn up the pressure. The change in gear proved pivotal, as the visitors had two players yellow-carded within 30 seconds of each other.
Treviso captain Antonio Pavanello was the first to go after lazy running and then key-man Christian Loamanu followed less than a minute later for a dangerous high tackle.
The greatly depleted Treviso side had no answer to the Leicester onslaught, as tom Youngs powered over the line shortly after for try number two.
Tigers struggled to then capitalize on the numbers difference, until Blaine Scully crossed the line with 15 minutes to go.
As the clock wound down to injury time, chances of a bonus point victory looked slim, until Leicester managed to put Thompstone through to seal the bonus point.
Leicester Captain, Toby Flood, added the extras to seal the game and then told BBC Sport that his side still have a lot to improve on:
"We made too many errors, again. If we qualify from our pool, we will look back and think we got five points which were important, but it's such an odd environment to take five points and play as poorly as that. We did not deserve it.
"There's no rhythm at the moment, no continuity. We are making too many errors and every time we get any momentum we turn the ball over.
"Credit to the guys for scoring three tries in the second half. They came here to shut up shop and make life difficult for us and we made life harder for ourselves."
The Tigers next face Montpellier on Sunday the 8th of December in the third round of the Heineken Cup.
Leicester: Morris; Scully, Goneva, Bowden, Thompstone; Flood, B Youngs; Mulipola, T Youngs, Cole, Kitchener, Parling, Slater, Salvi, Waldrom.
Replacements: Hepetema for Goneva (6), Mele for B Youngs (56), Briggs for T. Youngs (67), Deacon for Kitchener (52), Crane for Waldrom (63).
Not Used: Stankovich, Balmain, Williams.
Benetton Treviso: McLean; Pratichetti, Morisi, Sgarbi, Loamanu; Berquist, Botes; Rizzo, Ceccato, Cittadini, Pavanello, Bernabo, Vosawai, Zanni, Barbieri.
Replacements: Ambrosini for Berquist (22), Semenzato for Botes (68), Fernandez-Rouyet for Rizzo (54), Sbaraglini for Ceccato (66), Filippucci for Cittadini (66), Budd for Bernabo (45), Fuser for Vosawai (45), Di Santo for Barbieri (66).
Sin Bin: Botes (25), Pavanello (54), Loamanu (55).
Ref: Pascal Gauzere (France).