New-boys Oyonnax claimed another scalp as they upset Biarritz on Wednesday while Clermont and Toulon cut loose to win big.
New-boys Oyonnax claimed another Top 14 scalp as they upset Biarritz on Wednesday while Clermont and Toulon cut loose with massive wins over Bayonne and Brive respectively.
With the midweek fixture programme meaning that most teams will play three matches in just eight days, many put out virtual second-string formations, as reflected by a handful of cricket scores.
Clermont replaced Stade FranÃ§ais at the summit as the Parisians suffered a second-half meltdown in their 38-10 defeat at reigning champions Castres.
Montpellier bagged valuable points on the road with a win at Bordeaux-BÃ¨gles while Perpignan were easy winners over Grenoble.
In the late game, Toulouse climbed into the top four after brushing Racing aside.
Union Bordeaux-BÃ¨gles 29-36 Montpellier
Stade AndrÃ© Moga
Probably the most influential result of Round Four, Montpellier were able to get the job done where Toulouse had failed ten days ago.
Fabien GalthiÃ©'s team claimed their first win on the road this season thanks to three opportunistic tries.
Two tries on the counter-attack from wing Yoan Audrin helped Montpellier to a 23-16 lead at the interval before defending bravely in the second period to hold on for a crucial win.
Tries: Talebula, Connor, Maynadier
Pens: Bernard 4
Tries: Audrin 2, Combezou
Cons: Paillaugue 3
Pens: Paillaugue 3, Pelissie
Yellow cards: Bias
Bordeaux-BÃ¨gles: 15 Darly Domvo, 14 Jean Baptiste Peyras Loustalet, 13 Metuisela Talebula, 12 Julien Rey, 11 Blair Connor, 10 Pierre Bernard, 9 Emmanuel Saubusse, 8 Taiasina Tuifua, 7 Hugh Chalmers, 6 Louis Benoit Madaule, 5 Alikisio Fakate, 4 Jandre Marais, 3 Albert Toetu, 2 Wayne Avei, 1 Laurent Delboulbes.
Replacements: 16 Clement Maynadier, 17 Jean-Batiste Poux, 18 Matt Graham, 19 Poutasi Luafutu, 20 Baptiste Serin, 21 Romain Lonca, 22 Rafael Carballo, 23 Salemane Sa.
Montpellier: 15 Benoit Sicart, 14 Yoan Audrin, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Hamish Gard, 11 Yohann Artru, 10 Enzo Selponi, 9 Benoit Paillaugue, 8 John Beattie, 7 Kelian Galletier, 6 Alexandre Bias, 5 Bobins Tchale Watchou, 4 Mickael de Marco, 3 Maximiliano Bustos, 2 Charles Geli, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili.
Replacements: 16 Mickael Ivaldi, 17 Yvan Watremez, 18 Thibaut Privat, 19 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 20 Jonathan Pelissie, 21 Anthony Tuitavake, 22 Timoci Nagusa, 23 Nicolas Mas.
ASM Clermont Auvergne 55-0 Aviron Bayonnais
Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin
Clermont resumed their customary position at the summit of the standings with a crushing victory that featured a hat-trick for South African flanker Gerhard Vosloo.
Bayonne sent a below-strength side and it proved a chastening experience at the Stade Marcel Michelin where Clermont had wrapped up a bonus point inside the first 24 minutes.
By then Vosloo, New Zealand winger Sitiveni Sivivatu and fellow Fiji-born flyer Noa Nakaitaci had gone over to push the hosts into a 24-0 lead.
France international Nakaitaci added a second score before the break while Australian fly-half Brock James was exemplary from the tee, kicking 14 points.
Things did not get any easier for Bayonne after the break as Vosloo scored twice more while Sivivatu crossed for his second, taking the score past the half-century mark.
“I'm obviously satisfied with this lovely win. We were especially good at the breakdown,” said Clermont's New Zealander coach Vern Cotter.
“We managed to rotate our squad and so we're prepared for Sunday's trip to Paris (to face Stade Francais).”
For Clermont :
Tries: Vosloo 3, Sivivatu 2, Nakaitaci 2
Cons: James 5, Lacrampe 2
Pens: James 2
Yellow cards: Sivivatu, Nalaga
Yellow cards: Arganese, Elissalde
Clermont: 15 Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Regan King, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Noa Nakaitaci, 10 Brock James, 9 Thierry Lacrampe, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Gerhard Vosloo, 5 Loic Jacquet, 4 Julien Pierre, 3 Clement Ric, 2 Ti'i Paulo, 1 Raphael Chaume.
Replacements: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Thomas Domingo, 18 Paul Jedrasiak, 19 Julien Bardy, 20 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 21 Gavin Hume, 22 Naipolioni Nalaga, 23 Daniel Kotze.
Bayonne: 15 Jon Elissalde, 14 Bastien Fuster, 13 Sam Gerber, 12 Manu Ahotaeiloa, 11 Marvin O'Connor, 10 Matthieu Ugalde 9 Guillaume Rouet, 8 Charles Ollivon, 7 Clement Ancely, 6 Guillaume Bernad, 5 Pierre Gayraud, 4 Abdellatif Boutaty, 3 Gert Muller, 2 Gregory Arganese, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Anthony Etrillard, 17 Pierre Lafond, 18 Dewald Senekal, 19 Dwayne Haare, 20 Jean Monribot, 21 Martin Bustos Moyano, 22 Christophe Loustalot, 23 Vitolio Manukula.
Oyonnax 24-22 Biarritz Olympique
Stade Charles Mathon
Last season's second division champions Oyonnax continued their positive start to life in the Top 14 with a success over 2012 European Challenge Cup winners Biarritz, leaving the Basques bottom of the table.
Silvere Tian and Antoine Tichit crossed for Oyonnax while former France half-back Dimitri Yachvili scored 17 points for Biarritz, with American winger Takudzwa Ngwenya scoring their sole try.
Tries: Tain, Tichit
Pens: Urdapilleta 4
Pens: Yachvili 5
Oyonnax: 15 Florian Denos, 14 Silvere Tian, 13 Guillaume Bousses, 12 Roimata Hansell, 11 Jean francois Coux, 10 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 9 Agustin Figuerola, 8 Viliami Maafu, 7 Valentin Ursache, 6 Scott Newlands, 5 Damien Lagrange, 4 Thibault Lassalle, 3 Clement Baiocco, 2 Jody Jenneker, 1 Antoine Tichit.
Replacements: 16 Neil graham Clark, 17 Marc Clerc, 18 Miroslav Nemecek, 19 Christophe Andre, 20 Fabien Cibray, 21 Conrad Barnard, 22 Pierre Aguillon, 23 Lukas Rapant.
Biarritz: 15 Paul Couet Lannes, 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 13 Benoit Baby, 12 Damien Traille, 11 Joe Pietersen, 10 Daniel Waenga, 9 Dimitri Yachvili, 8 Ueleni Fono, 7 Benoit Guyot, 6 Joshua Furno, 5 Pelu Taele, 4 Erik Lund, 3 Benedict Broster, 2 Arnaud Heguy, 1 Alexandre Menini.
Replacements: 16 Jean Philippe Genevois, 17 Eugene van Staden, 18 Addison Lockley, 19 Raphael