Castres were unable to make progress at the bottom of the Top 14, beaten 13-9 by Toulouse in their quest for survival.
La Rochelle’s win at home to Clermont means that Castres are now three points adrift at the bottom of the league after 17 matches.
Julien Dumora’s late penalty was enough to snatch a losing bonus point for the home side, but their form has been so alarming this season that relegation remains a very real possibility. Home matches cannot afford to be anything but victories from now on.
Toulouse meanwhile were looking to rebound from their Champions Cup exit and did so thanks to former England fly-half Toby Flood.
Flood scored all of his side’s points to help push them back into the top six.
Dumora opened the scoring in the sixth minute with a penalty to set Castres on their way, before Flood took control.
Within three minutes Flood slotted a penalty and then had his try confirmed by the TMO, finishing off a fine team move.
Toulouse suffered a setback with the early withdrawal of Louis Picamoles, although they took a 10-3 lead into the break.
Dumora’s second penalty cut the deficit to four points but Castres struggled to break out of their 22 and Flood made them pay for a breakdown indiscretion with his latest penalty.
Castres couldn’t find the breakthrough, Dumora’s third penalty coming with time running out as they continue to search for a turnaround in their season.
Pens: Dumora 3
Pens: Flood 2
Castres: 15 Julien Dumora, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Romain Cabannes, 12 Remi Lamerat, 11 Remy Grosso, 10 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 9 Cedric Garcia, 8 John Beattie, 7 Piula Fa’asalele, 6 Ibrahim Diarra, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega (c), 4 Richie Gray, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Brice Mach, 1 Mihaita Lazar
Replacements: 16 Mathieu Bonello, 17 Yannick Forestier, 18 Christophe Samson, 19 Jannie Bornman, 20 Antoine Dupont, 21 Romain Martial, 22 Thomas Combezou, 23 Paea Fa’anunu
Toulouse: 15 Maxime M