Bayonne secured only their fourth win of the season when they beat Brive 33-23 at Stade Jean Dauger in Bayonne on Sunday.
The result was an important one for the home side – who are the Top 14’s bottom-placed team – as it is their first win since Round 12 and puts them two points adrift of 13th-placed Grenoble in the standings.
Bayonne were full value for their win, dominating for large periods, and they outscored their hosts by three try to two. Fly-half Willie du Plessis led the way for the hosts and contributed 18 points courtesy of four penalties and three conversion.
Bayonne led 6-0 by the half-hour mark after Du Plessis succeeded with two penalties but Brive were soon level thanks to Gaetan Germain who slotted two three-pointers of his own from the kicking tee.
Shortly before half-time, Du Plessis found himself in space inside Brive’s 22 and drew in the final defender before offloading to Felix Le Bourhis who crossed for the opening try.
Du Plessis added the extras which meant Bayonne led 13-6 at the interval and he kicked his third penalty in the 48th minute to give his side a 10-point lead.
The visitors did not take that lying down and struck back with a try from Patrick-Albert Toetu in the 53rd minute but they were reduced to 14 men five minutes later when Dominiko Waqaniburotu was yellow carded for a shoulder charge.
Du Plessis added another penalty on the hour-mark to make it it 19-16 to the hosts before Germain reduced the deficit with his third penalty but all his good work was undone when Petrus Hauman was also sent to the sin bin for a professional foul in the 63rd minute.
Bayonne finished stronger and were rewarded with a penalty try in the 68th minute before Martin Bustos Moyano sealed the win with a deserved try three minutes later.
Brive finished stronger though and were rewarded when Takudzwa Ngwenya crossed for a try in injury time.
Tries: Le Bourhis, Penalty try, Moyano
Cons: Du Plessis 3
Pens: Du Plessis 4
Tries: Toetu, Ngwenya
Cons: Germain 2
Pens: Germain 3
Yellow Cards: Waqaniburotu, Hauman
Bayonne: 15 Martin Bustos Moyano, 14 Martin Laveau, 13 Felix Le Bourhis, 12 Gabiriele Lovobalavu, 11 Julien Jane, 10 Willie du Plessis, 9 Guillaume Rouet, 8 PJ Van Lill, 7 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 6 John Beattie, 5 Pelu Taele, 4 Adam Jaulhac, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Manu Leiataua, 1 Aretz Iguiniz
Replacements: 16 Grégory Arganese, 17 Jérôme Schuster, 18 Pablo Huete, 19 Jean Jo Marmouyet, 20 Manu Saubusse, 21 Lucas Meret, 22 Bastien Fuster, 23 Toma Taufa
Brive: 15 Gaetan Germain, 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 13 Romain Cabannes, 12 Seremaia Burotu, 11 Guillaume Namy, 10 Matthieu Ugalde, 9 Vasil Lobzhanidze, 8 Petrus Hauman, 7 Poutasi Luafutu, 6 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 5 Jan Uys, 4 Johan Snyman, 3 Soso Bekoshvili, 2 Francois Da Ros, 1 Karlen Asieshvili
Replacements: 16 Louis Martin, 17 Vivien Devisme, 18 Arnaud Mela, 19 Said Hireche, 20 Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, 21 Arnaud Mignardi, 22 Sevenaia Galala, 23 Patrick-Albert Toetu
Referee: Sébastien Minery