Stade Français opened their title defence with a 34-18 victory over Top 14 new-boys Pau, but it wasn't an easy ride at Stade Jean Bouin on Sunday.
Tries from Hugh Pyle, Antoine Burban, Raphael Lakafia and Djibril Camara got the job done for the champions, who were made to work on their home patch.
Pau, who will have Conrad Smith and Colin Slade in their side following the Rugby World Cup, opened the scoring with a Samuel Marques penalty goal.
Stade Français second-row Pyle crossed on five minutes however, and with Jules Plisson's successful conversion, the hosts were 7-3 ahead in Paris.
Marques did reduce the arrears to one point on eleven minutes but two penalties from unwanted France pivot Plisson pushed Stade 13-6 in front.
While that was to be the half-time scoreline, there was plenty of further action as Pau front-row pair Thomas Bianchin and Julien Jacquot were both yellow carded, as was Stade Français replacement prop Jean Baptiste De Clercq.
Stade emerged the stronger in the second-half and a try from flanker Burban six minutes after the break was a boost.
Pau recovered though with a score from replacement scrum-half Thierry Lacrampe, which was converted by Santiago Fernandez, but it proved to be false hope for the visiting side as Stade Français went through the gears from then on.
Pau being reduced to thirteen men for a spell hit them hard as Plisson slotted two penalty goals while Sean Dougall and Mosese Ratuvou were off the field for ten minutes and when back-row Lakafia crossed, it was now 29-13 to Stade.
Credit to Pau though as once again they would not roll over against the champions, with replacement Daniel Ramsay crossing in the 67th minute before Stade Français full-back Camara made sure of the result a minute before full-time.
For Stade Français:
Tries: Pyle, Burban, Lakafia, Camara
Pen: Plisson 4
Yellow: De Clercq (40 mins)
Tries: Lacrampe, Ramsay
Pen: Marques 2
Yellow: Bianchin (20 mins), Jacquot (40 mins), Dougall (56 mins), Ratuvou (58 mins)
Stade Français: 15 Djibril Camara, 14 Julien Arias, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Jeremy Sinzelle, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Julien Dupuy, 8 Jono Ross, 7 Raphael Lakafia, 6 Antoine Burban, 5 Gerhard Mostert, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Adrien Oleon, 2 Laurent Sempere, 1 Aled de Malmanche.
Replacements: 16 Dany Priso, 17 Emmanuel Felsina, 18 Tomas Vallejos Cinalli, 19 Sylvain Nicolas, 20 Julien Tomas, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Hugo Bonneval, 23 Jean Baptiste De Clercq.
Pau: 15 Mathieu Acebes, 14 Mosese Ratuvou, 13 Julien Fumat, 12 Watisoni Votu, 11 Elijah Niko, 10 Damien Traille, 9 Samuel Marques, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Jean Bouilhou, 6 Sean Dougall, 5 Claude Dry, 4 Julien Pierre, 3 Chris King, 2 Thomas Bianchin, 1 Julien Jacquot.
Replacements: 16 Vincent Campo, 17 Geoffrey Moise, 18 Daniel Ramsay, 19 Paddy Butler, 20 Thierry Lacrampe, 21 Santiago Fernandez, 22 Jale Vatubua, 23 Giorgi Natsarashvili.
Referee: Salem Attalah