Alessana Tuilagi’s late score was the difference in Italy as double Heineken Cup Champions Leicester Tigers came from behind to beat Benetton Treviso.

The Samoan’s 77th minute score clinched victory and the try bonus point for the Tigers following earlier scores from Matt Smith, Craig Newby, Martin Castrogiovanni and Ben Youngs.

The home side had lead 29-27 thanks to two tries by centre Tommaso Benvenuti and 19 points from the boot of Kristopher Burton and looked on course for a famous home win and their first victory over English opponents in 11 meetings.

The visitors were forced to make late changes when Toby Flood and Dan Hipkiss were both ruled out so Billy Twelvetrees was promoted from the bench to outside-half and Horacio Agulla started at centre.

And Leicester got the best possible start when Smith broke through and outpaced the defence to touch down inside two minutes.

Twelvetrees missed the conversion and Treviso wasted no time in hitting back with Benvenuti’s first try after ten minutes.

Alberto Sgarbi made the first break, Paul Derbyshire followed before the young centre raced through to score close to the posts. Burton’s conversion put Treviso ahead 7-5 only to be cancelled out by Twelvetrees’ penalty moments later.

Newby crashed over to extend the Tigers lead after 20 minutes, Twelvetrees missed the conversion and a penalty a few minutes later.

A drop goal from Burton saw the teams finish the first-half at 13-13.

Just after the break Italian prop Castrogiovanni crashed over to hand Leicester the lead.

Treviso put their noses back in front when Benvenuti again darted through some soft Leicester defending. Burton’s conversion put Treviso ahead 23-20 but in a game of fluctuating fortunes, that lead only lasted seven minutes before Youngs peeled off the back of a scrum to score his first try in the Heineken Cup.

Twelvetrees converted but a penalty from Burton and a drop goal by Benvenuti put the home team ahead as the passionate home crowd ticked down the final minutes only for Tuilagi to strike late on.

Tom Croft sparked a counter-attack from deep inside his own half that ended with the Tigers’ wing charging in from 30 metres out to finally settle the game Leicester's way.