Premiership: Leicester 38-17 London Welsh
|Leicester (7) 38|
|Tries: B Youngs, Pearce 2, Harrison, Gibson, T Youngs Cons: Burns 2, Bell 2|
|London Welsh (10) 17|
|Tries: Britton, Fonua Cons: Robinson 2 Pens: Elder|
Leicester moved into the Premiership play-off spots with a bonus-point win over 14-man London Welsh.
The relegated visitors led 10-7 at the break after Ben Youngs' try for Tigers was cancelled out by a Chris Elder penalty and Koree Britton's score.
Loose forward Laurence Pearce scored twice to put Leicester back in front.
And, after Chris Hala'ufia was sent off for Welsh, Sam Harrison, Jamie Gibson and Tom Youngs wrapped up victory, with Opeti Fonua scoring a consolation.
The Tigers' victory lifted them above Exeter into fourth place, although the Chiefs can reclaim that spot if they win at Wasps on Sunday.
Leicester could hardly have wished for a better start, Ben Youngs darting through a gap from an attacking line-out to cross unopposed before Freddie Burns added the conversion.
But they then struggled to exert their authority on a scrappy first half played largely in midfield as Welsh fought back to lead at the break.
Wing Elder cut the visitors' deficit from the tee at the second attempt before hooker Britton's try a minute before half-time, converted by Will Robinson, gave them the lead.
Tigers were back in front within three minutes of the restart when Pearce was driven over in the corner and he soon touched down again after good play by Burns and Mathew Tait.
Welsh were reduced to 14 men when Hala'ufia received two yellow cards, equating to a red, the first coming for a no-arms tackle and the second quickly following after he shoved the Leicester man's head into the ground while he lay on the turf.
And Tigers made their numerical advantage pay when Harrison capitalised on Niall Morris's break before Gibson went over in the corner.
Fonua crashed over from a five-metre penalty late on but Tom Youngs' score with the last play of the match confirmed Welsh's 20th consecutive Premiership defeat.
Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill:
"The first half was very disappointing after a good start; the second half better. But it was a poor game of rugby. They played negatively. There was some relatively inconsistent refereeing and we were inaccurate.
"We turned the ball over and did not play the stuff we practised. We got what we deserved and were behind at half-time. The way we played was pretty ordinary. Put all that into the mix and it was a poor spectacle."
London Welsh director of rugby Rowland Phillips on Hala'ufia's dismissal:
"I did not see anything wrong with the tackle. The initial call was that it was 'no arms'.
"I don't know whether he was yellow-carded for what was deemed to be a 'no arms' tackle, or red-carded for pushing the guy on the floor. I can't comment on the reasoning, but it had a massive influence on the game."
Leicester: Morris; Scully, Tait, Catchpole, Thompstone; Burns, B Youngs; Rizzo, Ghiraldini, Mulipola; Thorn, Kitchener; Gibson, Salvi, Pearce.
Replacements: T Youngs, Brugnara, Balmain, Parling, Crane, Harrison, Bell, Bai.
London Welsh: Awcock; Crane, Reynolds, J. Lewis, Elder; Barkley, R Lewis; Trevett, Britton, Cooper; West, Corker; Pienaar, Waters, Hala'ufia.
Replacements: Morris, Aholelei, Gilding, McNally, Fonua, Thorpe, Rowley, Robinson.
Sent off: Hala'ufia (55).
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth (RFU).