There's never a dull moment in the Top 14 as leaders Castres fell to lowly Bourgoin while Stade FranÃ§ais scored a bonus-point win.
There's never a dull moment in the Top 14 and this weekend produced even more surprises as leaders Castres fell to lowly Bourgoin.
Stade FranÃ§ais finally tasted success at the Stade de France with a bonus-point win over Bayonne.
Perpignan cruised past Montpellier but failed to pick up the bonus point they needed to catch Castres.
On Friday, Montauban took care of another heavyweight with a 20-15 win over Clermont.
Montauban 20-15 Clermont
Bourgoin 16-9 Castres
Perpignan 29-3 Montpellier
Stade FranÃ§ais 34-10 Bayonne
Fixtures on Sunday, December 6
Albi v Biarritz
Brive v Toulouse
Racing Metro v Toulon
1 Castres 47
2 Perpignan 45
3 Clermont 42
4 Toulouse 40
5 Racing Metro 39
6 Toulon 38
7 Stade FranÃ§ais 38
8 Biarritz 33
9 Montauban 30
10 Brive 29
11 Montpellier 29
12 Bourgoin 27
13 Bayonnais 23
14 Albi 15
Friday, December 4
Montauban TG 20-15 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Sapiac, Montauban
Clermont missed the chance to move top of the standings on Friday after they fell to pumped up Montauban side.
Former Clermont wing Vilimoni Delasau brought Clermont's worst nightmare true when he went over for a score on 33 minutes and thanks to the boot of former Valke fly-half Len Olivier, Montauban were always an arms length away. Read the match report here.
Saturday, December 5
CS Bourgoin-Jallieu 16-9 Castres Olympique
Stade Pierre Rajon, Bourgoin
It's been two month's since Bourgoin last won a game and they certainly picked the right opposition to come good against. Castres failed to take advantage of Clermonts's loss on Friday but remain at the top up the standings.
Bourgoin's win was built on pure guts as CSBJ's embattled squad pulled their club out of the relegation zone – for now.
An audacious drop from fly-half Benjamin Boyet and then 80m intercept try from Namibian centre Piet van Zyl – both inside the first ten minutes – put Bourgoin ten points ahead.
A penalty each from Alberto Di Bernado and Sebastien Laloo on either side of half-time proved enough to see the hosts to victory.
Romain Teulet kicked three penalties for Castres, whose uncreative style was found wanting when try's were needed.
USA Perpignan 29-3 Montpellier HRC
Stade AimÃ© Giral, Perpignan
After a shock loss to Albi and a swine 'flu scare, the champions of France bounced back with a dominant display from their pack. Just two points off the lead, but with a game in hand, the Catalans are looking strong.
Montpellier tried to work the ball around but lacked the firepower up front they needed to trouble their hosts.
Perpignan led 12-0 at half time thanks to four penalties by full-back Jerome Porical.
Benjamin Theiry pulled three points back for the visitors after the break before prop Perry Freshwater extended the Catalans' lead, barging his way over from short range.
In the last quarter Montpellier had no answer to the Perpignan pack, who simply rumbled over anything in their path.
Replacement loose forward Yannick Parent scored the hosts' second try as Montpellier – reduced to fourteen men when lock Vassili Bost was show yellow for slowing the ball down – buckled under the pressure.
Stade FranÃ§ais 34-10 Aviron Bayonnais
Stade de France, Paris
A bonus-point win for Stade FranÃ§ais puts them right back into the mix for a play-off berth while Bayonne drop down into the relegation zone.
Back at full strength, the Parisians looked nothing like the side that slumped to defeat against Toulon last week, and they struck early on.
The hosts raced at a 27 -3 lead at half time thanks to tries from hooker Benjamin Kayser, scrum-half Julien Dupuy and lock Pascal PapÃ© while fly-half Lionel Beauxis added the conversions and two penalties.
The Basques visitors dominated most of the second half but had to wait until the 73rd minute for their advantage on the pitch to reflect as points on the scoreboard when South African centre Sam Gerber finally touched down.
Gerber's score meant that Stade needed another try to secure the bonus point and they turned up the heat. Geoffroy Messina broke the line in midfield, turned on the afterburners and found Marc Gasnier in support. The Aussie code-convert cruised over untouched under the posts.
To follow on Sunday, December 6
SCA Albi v Biarritz Olympique
Stadium Municipal, Albi
Previous result:Biarritz won 39-6
Prediction:Surely Biarritz will have too much firepower. Biarritz to win by seven
Kick-off:15:00 (14:00 GMT)
Referee: David Rosich
CA Brive-CorrÃ¨ze v Stade Toulousain
Stade AmÃ©dÃ©e Domenech, Brive
Previous result: Toulouse won 38-0
Prediction:Brive are looking better, but not good enough to beat a Toulouse side in need of a big performance. Toulouse by six points
Kick-off:15:00 (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Mathieu Raynal
Racing MÃ©tro 92 v RC Toulon
Stade Yves Du Manoir – Colombes (Paris)
Previous result:Toulon won 27-13
Prediction: A tough one to call. We'll back the home side. Racing by a whisker
Kick-off:17:05 (16:05 GMT)
Referee: JÃ©rÃ´me Garces