Bayonne claimed a priceless 16-13 win over Toulouse at Stade Jean Dauger on Sunday which lifts them off the bottom of the standings.
This was just their third triumph of the season and was hard-earned as Toulouse missed the chance to get amongst the play-off positions.
It was a tied ball-game at 13 apiece by the turnaround as Bayonne managed to claw themselves back from 0-10 down with a spirited response.
Bayonne scrum-half Manu Saubusse missed an early penalty and Toulouse number eight Gillian Galan made him pay when he barged over from close-range. With Sébastien Bezy’s conversion flying over, the visitors were 0-7 in front in atrocious weather conditions in France.
Saubusse’s second miss – a relative sitter – on 12 minutes was compounded when Bezy made it 0-10 nine minutes later after a scrum penalty.
Bayonne came within centimetres of cutting that gap two minutes later when Saubusse went close with a carry but soon after they got their reward, with fly-half Willie du Plessis’ perfect cross-kick finding wing Julien Jane on the left. With the conversion, Bayonne were 7-10 down.
That became 10-10 on the half-hour mark when Toulouse came offside and Saubusse made it 13-10 on 34 minutes before Bezy levelled matters.
Bayonne continued their revival after the break with three points from Saubusse, which came after Toulouse centre Florian Fritz was yellow carded for a late tackle. 16-13 was how the score remained until Fritz returned from his 10 minutes in the sin-bin, looking to make amends.
Both sides had moments to add to their personal tallies thereafter but with a slippery ball, turning those chances into points was difficult.
To add to the drama Toulouse finished the stronger side, and with a kickable penalty five metres out snubbed and a scrum taken, they went for victory. That backfired as Bayonne celebrated a superb scrum and ultimately a win, which now leaves Grenoble at the foot of the standings.
Pens: Saubusse 3
Pens: Bezy 2
Yellow Card: Fritz
Bayonne: 15 Romain Martial, 14 Martin Laveau, 13 Félix le Bourhis, 12 Gabiriele Lovobalavu, 11 Julien Jane, 10 Willie du Plessis, 9 Manu Saubusse, 8 PJ Van Lill, 7 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 6 Jean Monribot, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Pablo Huete, 3 Aretz Iguiniz, 2 Grégory Arganese, 1 Jérôme Schuster
Replacements: 16 Simon Labouyrie, 17 Davit Khinchagishvili, 18 Guillaume Ducat, 19 John Beattie, 20 Guillaume Rouet, 21 Jean Jo Marmouyet, 22 Raphael Lagarde, 23 Toma Taufa
Toulouse: 15 Maxime Médard, 14 Semi Kunatani, 13 Yann David, 12 Florian Fritz, 11 Arthur Bonneval, 10 Luke McAlister, 9 Sébastien Bezy, 8 Gillian Galan, 7 François Cros, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, 5 Edwin Maka, 4 Gregory Lamboley, 3 Dorian Aldegheri, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Rodrigue Neti, 18 Joe Tekori, 19 Florian Verhaeghe, 20 Selevasio Tolofua, 21 Samuel Marques, 22 Alexis Palisson, 23 Maks van Dyk
Referee: Tual Trainini
Assistant Referees: Sébastien Minery, Akim Hadj Bachir
TMO: Jean-Marie Piraveau