Perpignan had reason to celebrate on Saturday after running five tries past Toulouse to win 34-20 at Barcelona's Olympic Stadium.
Perpignan had reason to celebrate on Saturday after running five tries past defending French champions Toulouse to win 34-20 at Barcelona's Olympic Stadium.
USAP lead 34-6 early in the second half before Toulouse launched a comeback to score two tries and give some sort of respectability to the scoreline.
But the below-par champs were no match for their hosts, who led from start to finish in front of their Catalan fans and will take a bonus point back across to border.
Perpignan's Welsh fly-half James Hook contributed nine points with his boot while Scottish international flanker Alasdair Strokosch scored one of their tries in front of a half full stadium in Barcelona.
Perpignan had stunned Toulouse with a fiery first-half display that saw them lead 27-6 at half-time and although Toulouse came back in the second-half they had left themselves far too much to do.
Victory was only Perpignan's second in five games while defeat sees Toulouse trail leaders Toulon by seven points.
The Perpignan players' joy was muted as it was revealed that their Samoan bus driver, former rugby league player Paul Okesene, had suffered a heart attack in the car park and died later in hospital, aged 44.
“A victory which in other circumstances would have been celebrated mightily, but it is sadness which has taken over,” said Perpignan president Paul Goze.
“Rugby is only a sport, here we are talking about the life of a man.”
Tries: Sid, Guiry, Guirado, Strokosch, Haughton
Cons: Hook 3
Tries: Penalty try, Nyanga
Cons: McAlister 2
Pens: McAlister 2
Yellow card: Fritz (Toulouse – 62nd min – dangerous tackle)
Perpignan:15 Gavin Hume, 14 Farid Sid, 13 David Marty, 12 Lifeimi Mafi , 11 Adrien Plante, 10 James Hook, 9 Florian Cazenave , 8 Luke Narraway, 7 Bertrand Guiry, 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Jeremy Castex , 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Sona Taumalolo.
Replacements: 16 Romain Terrain, 17 Sebastien Taofifenua, 18 Robins Tchale watchou, 19 Daniel Leo, 20 David Mele, 21 Sione Piukala, 22 Richard Haughton, 23 Jerome Schuster.
Toulouse: 15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Yannick Jauzion, 12 Florian Fritz, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Luke Mcalister, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Gillian Galan, 7 Thierry Dusautoir, 6 Louis Picamoles, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Gregory Lamboley, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Christopher Tolofua , 1 Gurthro Steenkamp.
Replacements:16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Jean Batiste Poux, 18 Romain Millo Chlusky, 19 Yannick Nyanga, 20 Jean Marc Doussain, 21 Lionel Beauxis, 22 Timoci Matanavou 23 Yohan Montes