A Byron Kelleher try helped Toulouse to victory over Racing-MÃ©tro but a losing bonus point means the Parisians take the Top 14 lead.
A Byron Kelleher try helped Toulouse to victory over Racing-MÃ©tro on Saturday but a losing bonus point means the Parisians take the Top 14 lead.
Stade FranÃ§ais got their season back on track in Paris with a big win over leaders at the start of the weekend, Montpellier.
As expected, champions Clermont disposed of newcomers Agen, bagging a bonus point along the way, but former champs Perpignan were given a tough afternoon as La Rochelle snatched a surprise losing bonus point on the road.
Biarritz came out on top in hard-fought Basque derby with Bayonne.
Bourgoin battled to four vital points in a low-scoring game at home to Brive .
On Friday, Toulon wracked up their fourth consecutive win against Castres.
Toulon 22-15 Castres
Bourgoin 18-3 Brive
Perpignan 21-16 La Rochelle
Clermont 45-19 Agen
Stade FranÃ§ais 30-13 Montpellier
Toulouse 28-23 Racing-MÃ©tro
Bayonne 19-22 Biarritz
Stade FranÃ§ais Paris 30-13 Montpellier HR
Stade CharlÃ©ty, Paris
Stade scored three tries before the break to take a commanding lead but did their usual disappearing act in the second half as Montpol fought back.
Montpellier saw centre Sylvain Mirande sent to the sin bin after just seven minutes. It was all Stade FranÃ§ais in the opening quarter as the hosts raced to a 17-0 lead thanks to tries from wing Quintin ValenÃ§on and South African prop Rayno Gerber.
The Parisians continued to run the show and Hugo Southwell touched down for their third try with half time approaching before Lionel Beauxis added his second penalty to hand the hosts a 27-3 lead at half-time.
Once again Stade disappointed in the second half as first Fijian wing Timoci Nagusa and then Georgian lock Mamuka Gorgodze touched down to drag Montpellier back into the game.
Stade's only points of the second half came from another Beauxis penalty as Montpellier failed to capitalise on their dominance after the break.
ASM Clermont Auvergne 45-19 SU Agen
Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin, Clermont Ferrand
A week before starting their European campaign, Clermont got the perfect workout as they ran in seven tries in a silky smooth display.
Agen shocked the home crowd by taking an early lead when American wing Kevin Swiryn used his pace to score. But the champions didn't take long to reply and were 14-10 ahead at the end of the first quarter as captain Aurelien Rougerie scored one try and created another for Marius Joubert.
Clermont's third try came on the half-hour mark as Julien Bonnaire picked up at the base of a scrum and charged over.
Les Jaunards turned up the tempo in the second half as Julien Malzieu added two tries and Morgan Parra score another while Agen's only reply came from a couple of penalties from Valentin Current.
Napolioni Nalaga added number seven in 80th minute to cap a Clermont's most impressive performance of the season.
USA Perpignan 21-16 Stade Rochelais Atlantique
Stade AimÃ© Giral, Perpignan
The visitors came with plenty of positive ideas and tried to play enterprising rugby, but didn't have the kind of firepower needed to trouble the former champs for most of the game.
Perpignan led 14-3 at the break and looked to have the game wrapped up until a catastrophic last twenty minutes allowed La Rochelle to snatch a losing bonus point.
La Rochelle full-back Benjamin Dambielle opened the scoring from the kicking tee after just two minutes when the visitors' scrum won a penalty.
Perpignan's South African lock Gerrie Britz finished in the corner to give the Catalans the lead after 11 minutes before centre Jeoffrey Michel added a second try just before half time to capitalise on the hosts' general domination.
Andrien PlantÃ© finished under the posts soon after the break to extend the lead but Perpignan should have shut the game down.
But La Rochelle loose forward Thomas Soucaze scored in the corner to deny the Catalans a bonus point before Henry Tuilagi was shown a red card for a dangerous late tackle.
It was all La Rochelle in the closing stages but after a long period of sustained pressure, the les Maritimes finally settled for a penalty for Dambielle, saving a vital losing bonus point.
CS Bourgoin-Jallieu 18-3 CA Brive CorrÃ¨ze
Stade Pierre Rajon, Bourgoin
Not exactly an advertisement for Top 14 rugby as both sides tried to play some open rugby but made far too many errors to pull it off. Only two tries in the last ten minutes gave the scoreline some semblance of respectability in an otherwise frustrating encounter.
Brive led 3-0 at break thanks to a penalty from Mathieu Belie. Fly-half SÃ©bastien Laloo finally got the hosts on the scoreboard with his third attempt at goal shortly after the restart.
And it remained 3-3 until the 70th minute when South Africa Coenie Basson finally broke the deadlock, barging over to reward the home forwards for their hard work.
Laloo added a late penalty before replacement prop Sylvain Charlet crashed over in the 80th min to deny Brive a losing bonus point.
Stade Toulousain 28-23 Racing-MÃ©tro 92
Stadium de Toulouse
Francois Steyn kicked a long-range penalty in the 80th minute to save a bonus point for Racing, sending the Parisians back to the top of the standings.
A week before beginning the defence of their Heineken Cup crown, Les Toulousains will be satisfied with their performance as their backs showed some of the dangerous running that has made them the most fear club in Europe.
Toulouse held a 16-6 lead at half time after impressing with a few fluid attacks.
Full-back Clement Poitrenaud opened the scores for the hosts early on with a smart drop before David Skrela doubled the lead with a penalty.
Racing fly-half Jonathan Wisniewski got the visitors on the board from the kicking tee but Toulouse scrum-half Byron Kelleher would be first to cross the whitewash after wing Vilimoni Delasau and Skrela had broken through the Racing defence.
Skrela added a drop of his own before the break and two more penalties after the restart to extend the lead to 22-6.
But Racing bounced back with a pin-point kick-pass from Wisniewski found wing Albert Vulivuli out wide and the Fijian turned on the gas to touch down.
Skrela and Wisniewski exchanged penalties befor the Racing ten was forced off. Steyn took over the kicking duties and smashed two long range