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 Péchambert 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 Aurélien 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, Clément 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.