Montpellier moved provisionally into second place in the Top 14 after defeating Brive 19-3 on Friday.
The hosts were always in control of Friday’s contest, played out in poor conditions, as they moved ahead of Toulon to trail Clermont by just two points after playing 20 games.
Despite their dominance Montpellier were unable to come away with an attacking bonus point, having only outscored Brive by two tries to none.
Benoît Paillaugue and Gaetan Germain both misses penalties for their respective sides early on, with Germain failing again after a penalty was conceded by Jannie du Plessis.
Paillaugue eventually landed the first points with a penalty after 20 minutes, doubling his tally after Brive had Lucas Pointud yellow carded for not releasing.
Montpellier then scored their first try after good work from Anthony Tuitavake and Benjamin Fall released Marvin O’Connor on the inside for a try, unconverted by Paillaugue.
Germain had the final say of the half however with a penalty, as Montpellier led 11-3 at the break.
Paillaugue’s third penalty straight after the interval extended the margin to eleven points, before Montpellier made sure of the result with their second try, having had an earlier effort by Timoci Nagusa ruled out for obstruction.
Akapusi Qera crossed from close range to make it 19-3, with neither side able to trouble the scoreboard from then onwards as Montpellier had two efforts ruled out by the TMO.
Tries: O’Connor, Qera
Pens: Paillaugue 3
Yellow Card: Pointud
Montpellier: 15 Benjamin Fall, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Anthony Tuitavake, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Marvin O’Connor, 10 Ben Lucas, 9 Benoît Paillaugue, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Jacques Du Plessis, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Yvan Watremez
Replacements: 16 Mickael Ivaldi, 17 Mikheil Nariashvili, 18 Thibault Privat, 19 Kelian Galletier, 20 Cameron Wright, 21 Robert Ebersohn, 22 Anthony Floch, 23 Davit Kubriashvili
Brive: 15 Gaetan Germain, 14 Alfi Mafi, 13 Arnaud Mignardi, 12 Benjamin Petre, 11 Benito Masilevu, 10 Matthieu Ugalde, 9 Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, 8 Petrus Gherardus Hauman, 7 Poutasi Luafutu, 6 Said Hireche, 5 Arnaud Mela, 4 Johan Snyman, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Guillaume Ribes, 1 Lucas Pointud
Replacements: 16 Thomas Acquier, 17 Karlen Asieshvili, 18 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19 Victor Lebas, 20 William Whetton, 21 Bastien Duhalde, 22 Thomas Laranjeira, 23 Damien Jourdain
Referee: Salem Attalah
Assistant Referees: Adrien Descottes, Jean-Luc Rebollal
TMO: Hervé Dubes