Six-try Tigers romp to victory over toothless Sharks
Leicester Tigers 48 Sale Sharks 10
Leicester Tigers ran riot against the Aviva Premiership's bottom club with six tries in a 48-10 victory.
Lock forward Ed Slater and centre Matt Smith both scored twice, a penalty try came in the first half and full-back Mat Tait rounded off the rout.
But it was flanker Tom Croft who caught the eye with a wonderful performance on only his fifth start since coming back from a long-term injury.
After a frustrating opening quarter in which the home side butchered several chances, Tigers ran in six tries within a 42-minute spell for a bonus point win.
And Harlequins' defeat at home to Exeter Chiefs saw Tigers climb to within a single point of the reigning champions in the race for a home semi-final spot.
Fly-half George Ford had his best game of the season kicking eight from eight with the boot and Leicester put together their most complete 80 minutes of the campaign too.
The home side's try line was breached with 90 seconds to go when Sale substitute, Andy Powell crashed over from close range for a consolation try. But this was a sorry day Steve Diamond's side who were completely outclassed.
Tigers' director of rugby Richard Cockerill said it was a very satisfying afternoon after consecutive defeats.
"I am delighted with the result and the the players' attitude which was superb," he said. "We are still in the mix for the top two and the result was a lot easier than I thought it would be."