Castres continued with their fine recent form when they claimed a deserved 33-27 win over Bordeaux-Bègles at Stade Pierre Antoine on Sunday.
The home side came into this match on the back of an impressive victory over Northampton Saints in the European Champions Cup last weekend and they raced into a 13-0 lead in this clash, and even led 20-7 midway through the opening half, before the visitors fought back to trail 23-17 at half-time.
Both sides scored three tries apiece but it was the boot of Castres fly-half Benjamin Urdapilleta which secured the win for the hosts as he finished with an 18-point haul courtesy of four penalties and three conversions.
Urdapilleta gave Castres an early lead, via two penalties, before UBB were reduced to 14 men when Metuisela Talebula received a yellow card for a deliberate knock on close to his try-line.
Castres were also awarded a penalty try for that indiscretion but the visitors soon struck back via a Baptiste Serin try. Castres didn't panic and replied with a five-pointer from Thomas Combezou but a penalty from Ian Madigan and Jean-Marcellin Buttin's converted try meant UBB were still in this game at the interval.
Castres extended the lead via an Urdapilleta penalty shortly after the restart, before Madigan restored parity with a three-pointer of his own from the kicking tee in the 43rd minute.
Urdapilleta added another penalty before Castres extended their lead thanks to a try from Antoine Dupont in the 63rd minute. The conversion meant the hosts led 33-20 but, to their credit, UBB fought back and were rewarded with a try from Jayden Spence and Madigan's conversion ensured that they left Castres with a bonus point.
Tries: Penalty try, Combezou, Dupont
Cons: Urdapilleta 3
Pens: Urdapilleta 4
Tries: Serin, Buttin, Spence
Cons: Madigan 2, Beauxis
Pens: Madigan 2
Yellow Card: Talebula
Castres: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 David Smith, 10 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Alex Tulou, 7 Anthony Jelonch, 6 Mathieu Babillot, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Loic Jacquet, 3 Daniel Kotze, 2 Jody Jenneker, 1 Mihaita Lazar
Replacements: 16 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 17 Antoine Tichit, 18 Thibault Lassalle, 19 Steve Mafi, 20 Antoine Dupont, 21 Julien Dumora, 22 Florian Vialelle, 23 Damien Tussac
Bordeaux-Bègles: 15 Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 14 Metuisela Talebula, 13 Jayden Spence, 12 Julien Rey, 11 Blair Connor, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Loann Goujon, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Luke Jones, 5 Cyril Cazeaux, 4 Jan Andre Marais, 3 Vadim Cobilas 2 Ole Avei, 1 Jefferson Poirot
Replacements: 16 Benat Auzqui, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Tom Palmer, 19 Marco Tauleigne, 20 Yann Lesgourgues, 21 Lionel Beauxis, 22 Romain Lonca, 23 Marc Clerc
Referee: Alexandre Ruiz