The new Anglo-Welsh cup has stirred up old cross-border rivalries and that was never more evident than in the Newport Gwent Dragons passionate display against the English giants. Craig Warlow proved the Dragons' hero with an impressive 19-point haul that featured a full-house of scores - including the game's stunning opening try.
The Dragons enjoyed a stroke of luck when the video referee ruled that Tigers wing Alesana Tuilagi had failed to touch down before the ball had rolled out of play and they made the most of it by returning up field with a try on 10 minutes. Kevin Morgan ran onto a bouncing ball and split the Leicester defence with a scorching run past three tacklers. Michael Owen was on hand to ship the ball onto Warlow who had the legs to reach the line.
Warlow missed the conversion but just five minutes later made the break that led to the Dragons' second try. Ben Breeze spotted the gap and darted through.
It took half an hour for Leicester to finally show signs of their ruthless efficiency. Julian White broke, Harry Ellis supported before Daryl Gibson slipped a pass inside to Shane Jennings who crashed over. Andy Goode's conversion narrowed the gap to 12-7 but a brace of penalties before half-time and a drop goal four minutes after the break saw the Dragons 21-10 ahead early in the second half.
Playing into driving wind and rain, the Dragons pack gained a stranglehold on the game, earning Warlow a third penalty with seven minutes to go that sealed the win. Leicester replacement Leon Lloyd broke clear for a late score but by then Warlow and the Dragons had done more than enough.
Tries - C Warlow, B Breeze
Con - C Warlow
Pens - C Warlow (3)
Drop G - C Warlow
Tries - S Jennings, L Lloyd
Cons - A Goode
Pens - A Goode
Referee: N Owens (WRU)