Leicester Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill paid tribute to his side after they ran in 31 unanswered second-half points to overcome Sale 34-13 in a thrilling Premiership encounter.
Tigers found life tough in the opening weeks of the season owing to a number of World Cup call-ups, but they dug deep when it mattered most to claim only their second Premiership win of the season.
Rookie wing Tom Brady's first-half try helped the Sharks into a 13-3 interval lead but second-half scores from Alesana Tuilagi, Martin Castrogiovanni, Toby Flood and Marcos Ayerza completed a stunning turnaround.
Asked about his side's fightback, which secured a bonus point, Cockerill said: "Historically we've been very good at that. We believe in the systems that we use conditioning-wise.
"We've had a bit of stick across the board about everything in the past six or seven weeks, but we've stuck to our guns and we've worked through it and believed in the stuff we do. Tonight we got proved right, but it's one win and there's a long way to go.
"We've got London Irish next week, who are a very good side, and we need to be more accurate in certain parts of our game because in other games you will get punished and not recover from that."
Castrogiovanni's introduction at the expense of England prop Dan Cole during the second half proved crucial as he scored one try and kept Leicester on the front foot.
Cockerill added: "Coley and Castro are two world-class tightheads and they both wanted to play. The two most important positions are your tighthead and your reserve tighthead for me and they proved that tonight."
Sale executive director of sport Steve Diamond was left deeply frustrated by his side's second-half capitulation. The reverse served as a reality check for the Sharks and ended their winning start to the season on home soil after three previous victories.
Diamond said: "I think after 10 minutes of the second half we realised where we are at. We had no ball and the pressure told. Against a side like Leicester you can't compete.
"Our set-piece let us down, they scored from two driving mauls five metres out and our scrum didn't look very stable for most of the game. We've got a lot to work on and we got taught a lesson today, but that's how you learn.
"We will go away and lick our wounds and come back. We showed how good we can be in the first half but the second half we showed our Jekyll and Hyde character."
* Meanwhile Wasps coach Dai Young bemoaned his side's lack of a cutting edge after they were forced to battle to a narrow 14-12 win at Worcester.
The Londoners had to rely on Richard Birkett's late try to see them to a narrow win, having had little to show for their first-half domination.
"In the first half we were in control but the Worcester defence was excellent," Young said. "We had a lot of possession but we didn't look threatening. Our kicking game wasn't accurate enough and we could have been more potent in attack.
"We showed character for 15 minutes or so to snatch that win. One piece of magic from Joe Simpson got us to within five metres of their line and into Birkett's hands and over the line."
Disappointed Worcester coach Richard Hill said: "The result was fair tonight; we were technically not good enough. We failed to get parity in the set-piece, we lost our first three line-outs and we were penned in our own third for the whole of the first half."
The introduction of Aleki Lutui and Joe Carlisle at the interval improved matters, the latter landing three penalties to take his team within sight of victory.
Hill added: "Our line-out was poor in the first half and Lutui improved this and added something around the field. Also in the first half our kicking strategy was poor and I couldn't see any way that we could get out of our third. Carlisle looked lively in the second half and he and our defence were major plusses."
We look at the Friday matches!
Sale Sharks 13-34 Leicester Tigers
Leicester began their expected climb back up the Premiership Rugby table with a 34-13 victory at Sale Sharks.
The Tigers have found life tough in the opening weeks of the season owing to injuries and World Cup call-ups, but they ran in 31 unanswered points to claim just their second league victory of the campaign. Wing Tom Brady's first-half try helped the Sharks into a 13-3 interval lead but second-half scores from Alesana Tuilagi, Martin Castrogiovanni, Toby Flood and Marcos Ayerza completed a stunning turnaround.
It was Leicester who began quickest as a break from England flank Tom Croft took him close before Sale flyhalf Nick MacLeod missed a penalty from distance.
In the 11th minute, the Tigers led when England No.10 Toby Flood slotted over a penalty but the response from the hosts was impressive. Rob Miller went close down the left flank and then Brady saw a score ruled out on the opposite flank by the television match official.
Shortly before the half-hour mark, MacLeod kicked two penalties in quick succession to put his side 6-3 ahead and from there Sale began to take control. They continued to probe and were rewarded three minutes before the break when Sale produced a fine counter-attack which led to them scoring a try through Brady.
Leicester were penalised for not releasing and a quick penalty tap led to Miller racing forward to send Brady over in the left corner. MacLeod added the extras to put the hosts 13-3 ahead at half-time before Flood missed a penalty shortly after the re-start.
He then kicked one from in front of the posts to cut Sale's lead to seven points in the 50th minute, before Tuilagi collected a pass from Flood to take Leicester over the line in the 58th minute. Flood added the extras, Castrogiovanni burrowed over in the right corner three minutes later and Flood then sauntered over in the 58th minute to put the Tigers in total control.
Argentina prop Ayerza grabbed Leicester's fourth with another close-range effort in the 70th minute to leave Sale stunned. Flood converted all four tries in a 19-point haul to get the Tigers back in the Premiership Rugby hunt.
Pens: MacLeod 2
Tries: Tuilagi, Castrogiovanni, Flood, Ayerza
Cons: Flood 4
Pens: Flood 2
Sale: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou (captain), 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Richie Vernon, 7 David Seymour, 6 James Gaskell, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Fraser McKenzie, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Joe Ward, 17 Vadim Cobilas, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Mark Easter, 20 Andy Powell, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Luther Burrell, 23 Will Addison.
Leicester: 15 Geordan Murphy (captain), 14 Scott Hamilton, 13 Horacio Agulla, 12 Matt Smith, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Thomas Waldrom 7 Julian Salvi 6 Tom Croft 5 Geoff Parling 4 George Skivington 3 Dan Cole 2 George Chuter 1 Marcos Ayerza
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs 17 Boris Stankovich 18 Martin Castrogiovanni 19 Steve Mafi 20 Ed Slater 21 James Grindal 22 Jeremy Staunton 23 Niall Morris.
Referee: Andrew Small
Worcester Warriors 12-14 London Wasps
Richard Birkett scored a last-minute try as Wasps grabbed a 14-12 victory over Worcester at Sixways.
The winning try arrived unexpectedly in a game dominated by kicking, with Worcester replacement Joe Carlisle looking to have won the game for the Warriors with three second-half penalties.
Worcester were ahead after four minutes when Andy Goode kicked an angled 30-metre penalty, but it was Wasps who had the better of the opening exchanges as they dominated in terms of possession and territory. Careless mistakes from Steve Thompson and Joe Simpson hindered their progress, but eventually their efforts were rewarded when Nicky Robinson tied up the scores with a 45-metre penalty.
Wasps continued to maintain their stranglehold on the game with clever kicking from Robinson ensuring that the Warriors were playing on the back foot. The visitors then had a chance to take the lead when Marcel Garvey was harshly adjudged to have impeded Simpson, but Robinson's 40-metre kick went well wide.
Robinson was narrowly short with another penalty attempt and then, on the stroke of half-time, the line was threatened for the first time in the match. Worcester lost possession in their own 22 and Riki Flutey and Simpson both made half breaks, although the Warriors kept their line intact.
However, Robinson did give his side a deserved 6-3 interval lead with a neat drop goal with the last kick of the half.
Goode was replaced at the interval and his replacement Carlisle put his side into the opposition 22 with his first kick. This set up Worcester for their first period of pressure and they drew level when Carlisle kicked a 30-metre penalty after 46 minutes.
Wasps regained the lead four minutes later when Robinson kicked a 45-metre penalty after the home side were penalised for a scrummage offence, but Carlisle quickly responded with another successful kick for the Warriors.
The second half was more evenly-matched but a try still looked unlikely. And as the game entered its final 10 minutes it was evident it would take something special - or a mistake - to settle things as both sides still preferred the kicking option.
With six minutes remaining, Wasps were penalised at a ruck 45 metres out and Carlisle made no mistake with a superb kick under pressure to put Worcester 12-9 ahead.
But two minutes from time, the visitors produced a try out of nowhere. They won a line-out on the home 22 from which Simpson produced a searing break to take his side under the Warriors' posts. And from the resulting maul Birkett crashed over for the crucial points.
Pens: Goode, Carlisle 3
Pens: Robinson 2
Worcester: 15 Errie Claassens, 14 Marcel Garvey, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Dale Rasmussen (captain), 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Shaun Perry, 8 Chris Jones, 7 Jake Abbott, 6 Neil Best, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 James Percival, 3 Tevita Taumoepeau, 2 Ed Shervington, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 George Porter, 17 Aleki Lutui, 18 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 19 Adam Balding, 20 Sam Betty, 21 Ollie Frost, 22 Joe Carlisle, 23 Chris Pennell.
Wasps: 15 Hugo Southwell, 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Chris Bell, 12 Riki Flutey, 11 Christian Wade, 10 Nick Robinson, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 John Hart (captain), 7 Jonathan Poff, 6 Richard Birkett, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Ross Filipo, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Steve Thompson, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 Rob Webber, 17 Zak Taulafo, 18 Jeremy Castex, 19 Joe Burton, 20 Matt Everard, 21 Nic Berry, 22 Ryan Davis, 23 Chris Mayor.
Referee: Greg Garner
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The Barbarians are one of the top invitational rugby sides with a long history and classic rugby jersey.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Lions get ready for their matches with this green training jersey. It's what the players wear. Get in the Gear!
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The Lions are ready to get their Australia tour underway. They arrive in Perth on Monday.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.