LEICESTER TIGERS overcame testing conditions to move back to the top of the Guinness Premiership with victory over bottom club Leeds.
The Tigers were frustrated for long periods by a resilient Leeds defence before back row Craig Newby sealed victory with the only try of the game.
It came as a relief to Tigers coach Richard Cockerill, who hit out at the state of the Leeds pitch, describing it as the worst he has seen in a decade.
“You could put your boot in four, five or even six feet in some areas, the mud was that deep,” he said.
“It’s full of sand and there’s no grass, it’s nobody’s fault but it’s horrendous. If you want to play top-end sport you have to have surfaces better than that.”
Newby’s solitary score was added to be nine points from the boot of Jeremy Staunton, while Ceiron Thomas kicked all the home side’s points.
Elsewhere, Danny Cipriani produced a faultless kicking display as Wasps closed in on a top-four place with a 22-16 victory over Sale Sharks at Adams Park.
The England fly-half landed six kicks from six attempts, including five penalties and a conversion from Ben Jacobs’ 14th-minute try.
Gavin Kerr’s try helped give Sale a 10-6 lead at the break with the boot of Charlie Hodgson securing the visitors a bonus point.
Wasps now close in on London Irish, who slumped to a sixth straight match without a win, going down 35-22 at home to Bath.
Veteran prop David Barnes, England left wing Matt Banahan and right wing Joe Maddock all touched down in the first half, while centre Ryan Davis added 15 points with the boot.