Biarritz continued their perfect start to the Top 14 season with a 22-17 win over defending champions Toulouse on Saturday.
Biarritz continued their perfect start to the Top 14 season with a 22-17 win over defending champions Toulouse at Parc des Sports d'Aguilera on Saturday.
The result leaves Biarritz at the top of the standings thanks to three wins in as many games this season.
A late try from Vicent Clerc saved a bonus point for Toulouse.
The hosts took an early lead and the held on under pressure for a tough victory.
Veteran centre Damian Traille was the home side's try-scorer, dotting down after 29 minutes following a fine break from Welsh winger Aled Brew.
The rest of the Biarritz points came from the boot of fly-half Jean-Pascal Barraque with a conversion and five penalties.
For Toulouse it was a first defeat of the season after two unconvincing wins and left coach Guy NovÃ¨s with some selection headaches.
In what was the first big showdown of the new season, Biarritz ran out onto a sun-splashed Aguilera stadium minus stars Dimitri Yachvili and Imanol Harinordoquy, both of whom are on the injured list.
Reigning champions Toulouse were without All Black fly-half Luke McAlister, who has a bruised calf, but were able to welcome back France skipper Thierry Dusautoir along with first team regulars Jean Bouilhou and Gary Botha.
An early rash of penalties saw Biarritz take a 6-3 lead, despite the visitors making most of the running in the hot and windy conditions.
They then scored the game's first try after 31 minutes when the dangerous Brew broke clear from midfield following a line-out and turned inside to feed Traille, who scored under the posts.
A further exchange of penalties between fly-halves Barraque and Lionel Beauxis saw half-time reached with Biarritz enjoying a healthy, if slightly undeserved, 16-6 lead.
Toulouse continued to dominate possession into the second half with Biarritz put under further pressure by South African prop Wikus Blaauw getting a yellow card, but all they had to show for their efforts were two penalties from Beauxis.
Barraque then extended the home lead again to 19-12 after 57 minutes with the Toulouse forwards penalised at a line-out and he made it 22-12 10 minutes later, sending over his fifth penalty out of six attempts.
Toulouse finally crossed the Biarritz line after 77 minutes when Clerc dashed over in the corner after a looping pass from Beauxis, but the fly-half missed the conversion.
That gave the visitors a defensive bonus point but there was not enough time left for them to pull ahead.
Pens: Barraque 5
Pens: Beauxis 4
Yellow cards: Blaauw (Biarritz – 44th min- collapsing scrum)
Biarritz: 15 Iain Balshaw, 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya , 13 Charles Gimenez , 12 Damien Traille , 11 Aled Brew , 10 Jean pascal Barraque , 9 Yann Lesgourgues 8 Raphael Lakafia 7 Thibault Dubarry 6 Wenceslas Lauret 5 Pelu ian Taele 4 Jerome Thion 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela 2 Arnaud Heguy 1 Johannes Blaauw.
Replacements: 16 Jean philippe Genevois , 17 Fabien Barcella , 18 Erik Lund, 19 Magnus Lund, 20 Julien Peyrelongue, 21 Benoit Baby, 22 Seremaia nakala Burotu, 23 Eugene Van staden,
Toulouse: 15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Yann David, 12 Florian Fritz, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Lionel Beauxis, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Thierry Dusautoir, 6 Jean Bouilhou, 5 Romain Millo chlusky, 4 Yoann Maestri, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Gary Botha, 1 Gurthro Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Jean batiste Poux, 18 Gregory Lamboley, 19 Yannick Nyanga, 20 Jean marc Doussain, 21 Yannick Jauzion, 22 Jean bernard Pujol, 23 Antoine Guillamon.