In front of 1,702 spectators at Stade Santander International, the Tigers took just four minutes to get on the scoreboard with Juan-Pablo Socino making room and Guy Porter touching down in the corner, and Freddie Burns adding the extras.
Midway through the first half Hosea Saumaki crossed in the same corner to extend the visitors’ lead, but with the final play of the half the home side pounced. A Tigers’ attack broke down near halfway, Jack Macfarlane hacked the ball forward and Ryan Olowofela raced through to gather and finish under the posts, with Sam Leeming converting.
Both sides made multiple changes during the second half, with the game losing some shape as a result. England scrum-half Ben Youngs was among the players introduced by the Tigers and on the hour he broke to the right from a close-range scrum and fed replacement wing Jacob Cusick for a try.
Both sides had opportunities to score more points, but there were no further scores in the closing stages.
Reds face another test against top-flight opponents when they host Sale Sharks next Friday at 7.45pm.