Exeter extended their lead at the top of the Aviva Premiership to 10 points with a bonus-point victory over Leicester at Sandy Park.
The home side were nowhere near their best but had more than enough to condemn an ordinary Leicester to their sixth consecutive defeat.
That run of losses is the Tigers’ worst since 1965 and leaves them in ninth place in the table and virtually certain to be out of Europe next season.
Dom Armand, Henry Slade, Jack Yeandle and Jonny Hill scored Exeter’s tries with Gareth Steenson converting two and kicking a penalty. Slade also added a penalty.
Two penalties from George Ford provided Leicester’s insubstantial response.
Leicester made a late change to their starting line-up as Mathew Tait’s back problem saw him drop to the bench with Nick Malouf coming in on the wing and Jonny May switching to full-back.
Slade’s interception try took the game away from Leicester (Getty)
The visitors then began badly as Luke Hamilton dropped the kick-off to concede early territory to the hosts. Steenson, making his 150th Premiership appearance, declined to take two kickable penalties in favour of attacking line-outs but it proved to be the wrong option as Chiefs bungled both opportunities.
After seven minutes, Exeter suffered an injury blow when hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie hobbled off but they overcame the setback to dominate an error-ridden scoreless first quarter.
Ball retention was poor as both sides made frequent handling errors, with possession being regularly given way with fruitless kicking.
After 24 minutes, Exeter changed their tactics to take the lead when Slade fired over a 50-metre penalty before Chiefs full-back Lachie Turner attempted to raise the standard with a couple of lively bursts to at least provide some entertainment for the sell-out crowd.
Jonny Hill scores Exeter’s third try against Leicester (Getty)
The game continued to meander before Ford and Steenson exchanged penalties to leave Exeter 6-3 ahead at the…