Castres claimed a priceless victory over play-off rivals Toulouse as they ran out 15-9 winners in a hard-fought game on Saturday.
No tries were scored at Stade Pierre-Antoine between the teams in sixth and seventh place before kick-off, as Castres closed the gap on Toulouse to four points after a late Ben Urdapilleta saw their visitors leave empty handed.
It was 6-6 at the break as Urdapilleta and Sebastien Bezy traded two penalties apiece, with the importance of the fixture adding extra pressure.
Following the turnaround they were at it again as it became 9-9 on 46 mintues before Castres thought they had a try through full-back Geoffrey Palis, who had sliced through under the posts from 30 metres out. However, that was chalked off due to an earlier late hit from Julien Caminati on Bezy.
Toulouse were then penalised at the scrum on the hour mark and Urdapilleta made them pay, landing a penalty that made it 12-9 to Castres.
Castres would later need to show their defensive strength and certainly did that to survive a Toulouse onlaught on their own line before Urdapilleta rubbed salt into Toulouse wounds by landing the drop-goal that saw them leave point-less.
Pen: Urdapilleta 4
Pen: Bezy 3
Castres: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 Julien Caminati, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Rémi Lamerat, 11 David Smith, 10 Ben Urdapilleta, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Alex Tulou, 7 Alexandre Bias, 6 Yannick Caballero, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Karena Wihongi, 2 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 1 Antoine Tichit
Replacements: 16 Julien Beziat, 17 Mihai Lazar, 18 Christophe Samson, 19 Mathieu Babillot, 20 Antoine Dupont, 21 Julien Dumora, 22 Florian Vialelle, 23 Yohan Montes
Toulouse: 15 Maxime Médard, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Gaël Fickou, 12 Florian Fritz, 11 Alexis Palisson, 10 Luke McAlister, 9 Sebastien Bezy, 8 Gillian Galan, 7 François Cros, 6 Yacouba Camara, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Joe Tekori, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Vasil Kakovin
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Cyril Baille, 18 Edwin Maka, 19 Gregory Lamboley, 20 Imanol Harinordoquy, 21 Jean-Marc Doussain, 22 Yann David 23 Dorian Aldegheri
Referee: Alexandre Ruiz