Clermont battled their way to a 19-12 win over Toulon in a foul-tempered Top 14 match at Stade Marcel-Michelin on Friday.
In a match marred by a number of serious punch-ups, Clermont led from start to finish but were made to fight (sometimes quite literally) very hard to maintain their unbeaten record at home this season.
Referee Patrick PÃ©chambert pulled out three yellow cards in total but he could easily have waved a few reds.
Toulon in fact outscored their hosts two tries to one to claim a precious losing bonus point in the race for the play-offs.
After being humiliated by minnows Agen last time out, Toulon travelled to Clermont-Ferrand with fire in their bellies, but were made to pay for their own indiscipline as Morgan Parra kicked three penalties and a drop goal to see the hosts home.
Parra took Clermont to a 6-0 lead with a penalty and drop gaol but Toulon were first to cross the try-line through centre Fotu Auelua.
Parra's boot however ensure that Clermont had a 12-5 lead at half time.
Toulon dominated the possession and territory but Clermont need just once chance to snatch victory when Aurelien Rougerie chipped ahead, Julien Bonnaire chased before dribbling soccer-style past Rudi Wulf to collect and crash over.
A late try for replacement Romain Barthelemy gave Toulon a losing bonus point.
Pens: Parra 3
Yellow cards: Malzieu (Clermont); Genevois (Toulon); Cudmore (Clermont)
Clermont:15 Benoit Baby, 14 Wesley Fofana, 13 AurÃ©lien Rougerie (C), 12 Gonzalo Canale, 11 Julien Malzieu, 10 Brock James, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Elvis Vermeulen, 7 Julien Bonnaire, 6 Alexandre Lapandry, 5 Thibaut Privat, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Mario Ledesma, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements:16 Ti'i Paulo, Vincent Debaty, Kevin Senio, Julien Pierre, Sione Lauaki, Tasesa Lavea, Marius Joubert, ClÃ©ment Ric.
Toulon:15 Rudi Wulf, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Gabriele Lovobalavu, 12 Fotu Auelua, 11 Christian Loamanu, 10 Felipe Contepomi, 9 Pierre Mignoni, 8 Joe van Niekerk (c), 7 Joe El Abd, 6 George Smith, 5 Jocelino Suta, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Davit Kubriashvili, 2 Jean-Philippe Genevois, 1 Saimone Taumoepeau.
Replacements:Laurent Emmanuelli, Carl Hayman, Dean Schofield, Matt Henjak, Olivier Missoup, Benjamin Lapeyre, Romain Barthelemy, Mickael Ivaldi.