Warriors’ run of victories against Leicester came to a halt in a bruising encounter at Welford Road.
Warriors secured a fourth successive losing bonus point but that was no consolation as they ended their match without first choice locks Graham Kitchener and Anton Besler, who failed head injury assessments, and with scrum-half Francois Hougaard in the back row after Marco Mama hobbled off with an ankle injury.
It was another match of fine margins which was decided by two second half penalties from Leicester’s replacement fly-half Johnny McPhillips that settled the issue and denied Warriors the chance to become only the third side to win three successive Premiership matches Welford Road.
Wing Perry Humphreys scored a first half try for Warriors and the match looked finely poised at half-time but the loss of Bresler midway through the first half and Kitchener, who did not reappear for the second, meant that Warriors were up against it.
Warriors defended bravely to deny Leicester a try after the break but the lack of possession meant their own scoring opportunities were at a premium and the penalties conceded at the other end eventually told.
Leicester thought they had scored inside two minutes after full-back Telusa Veainu picked up a loose ball on his own ten metre line and galloped away.
But the celebrations of the home fans were soon silenced as referee Adam Leal and television match official David Grashoff spotted a Leicester knock-on in the build-up.
Warriors quickly regained their composure and enjoyed ten minutes of sustained pressure close to the home line.
The pressure and persistence was rewarded when Ted Hill, who scored two tries in the corresponding fixture last season, clattered through Leicester’s defence and the ball was recycled for Perry Humphreys who came off his wing and crossed with a perfectly timed run.
Leicester responded with a penalty from fly-half Johnny McPhillips midway through the first half and then took the lead against the run of play with an opportunist try from left wing Jordan Olowofela.
Warriors had no one at home when the ball shot out of a ruck and Olowofela pounced, kicking on and then just touching down before the ball went dead.
Warriors again showed resilience by responding with another sustained passage of pressure which almost produced a brilliant individual try for Ollie Lawrence.
The centre sliced Leicester wide open with a superb angled run but was hauled down just short of the line.
Leicester gave away a penalty when they scrambled back and Duncan Weir gratefully accepted the three points.
The second half was littered with errors and was 23 minutes old before the next score came when McPhillips kicked a tricky penalty into a strong downfield wind.
Leicester pushed for a second try that would have put the losing bonus point out of reach for Warriors and opted to scrum a kickable penalty against Warriors’ patched-up pack.
The scrum went down and Leicester opted to kick the second penalty with McPhillips striking from in front of the posts with just 62 seconds left on the clock.
Warriors | 15 Jamie Shillcock, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Nick David (van Breda 61), 10 Duncan Weir (Lance 64), 9 Francois Hougaard, 1 Ethan Waller (Heaney 78), 2 Matt Moulds (C) (Annett 65), 3 Nick Schonert (Palframan 58), 4 Anton Bresler (A Kitchener 20), 5 Graham Kitchener (Lewis 41), 6 Ted Hill, 7 Marco Mama (Owen 78), 8 Cornell du Preez.
Replacements | 16 Niall Annett, 17 Kai Owen, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Andrew Kitchener, 20 Sam Lewis, 21 Michael Heaney, 22 Jono Lance, 23 Scott van Breda.
12m | Humphreys try 0-5
23m | McPhillips pen 3-5
34m | Olowofela try 8-5
39m | Weir pen 8-8
63m | McPhillips pen 11-8
79m | McPhillips pen 14-8