They had their stand-in captain, Louis Deacon, sin-binned controversially for what the referee saw as an illegal challenge on Iain Balshaw, though it looked no more than an accident.
Leicester were leading at the time, but while Deacon was doing his penance, Leeds scored 10 points to make it 17-12 and the Tykes were on what should have been an unstoppable charge.
Leicester had made 13 changes from the side which had demolished Bath but they deserved to prevail, because Leeds were unable to finish them off when the opportunity presented itself.
They handed Ross Broadfoot two late penalty chances, both of which were gratefully accepted before the Tykes' replacement hooker, Rob Rawlinson, committed a cardinal sin, which left his side without even the comfort of a bonus point.
Leicester were trapped on their own line, with Leeds throwing in at the line-out, only for Rawlinson, who had just come on for Gordon Bulloch, to throw the ball straight to Deacon. A little bit of juggling before the catch could be safely pouched, a plunge over the line, Broadfoot's conversion and Leeds were gone.
Leicester were soon in front, Austin Healey tapping a penalty and Geordan Murphy flicking a delightful one-handed pass to Leon Lloyd for a try in the corner.
The Tykes response had more than a hint of good fortune about it. Andre Snyman losing control of the ball in attempting to touch down. Inexplicably, referee Rob Debney allowed the score to stand. Roland de Marigny converted and Leeds were in front.
However a smashing try from Matt Cornwell, which Broadfoot converted saw Leicester turn round 12-7 to the good. But Chris Murphy's try, while Deacon was absent, swung things the Tykes' way. They blew it spectacularly.
Leeds: Tries Snyman, Murphy; Conversions De Marigny 2; Penalties De Marigny 2. Leicester: Tries Lloyd, Cornwell, Deacon; Conversions Broadfoot 2; Penalties Broadfoot 3.
Leeds: I Balshaw (capt); D Rees, C Jones, A Snyman, T Biggs; R de Marigny, J Marshall; M Shelley (R Gerber, h-t), G Bulloch (R Rawlinson, 77), G Kerr, C Murphy (S Hooper, 62), T Palmer, J Dunbar, R Parks, J Crane (N Thomas, 62).
Leicester: G Murphy; A Tuilagi, O Smith (D Hipkiss, 72), M Cornwell, L Lloyd (T Varndell, 71); R Broadfoot, A Healey; G Rowntree, E Taukafa (G Chuter, 52), M Holford, L Deacon (capt), J Hamilton (L Cullen, 62), B Deacon, W Skinner, W Johnson (S Jennings, 52).
Referee: R Debney (Leicestershire).Reuse content