Toulouse returned to the top of the Top 14 standings after claiming a hard-fought 34-29 triumph over Racing 92 at the La Défense Arena on Sunday.
As expected, this was an entertaining affair with both sides giving the ball plenty of air and although Toulouse dominated for long periods, they were given a fright late on when Racing launched a fightback, but the visitors managed to hold on for the win.
Both sides eventually scored four tries apiece with Arthur Bonneval, Sofiane Guitoune, Lucas Tauzin and Zack Holmes crossing the whitewash for Toulouse. Holmes added four conversions and two penalties to finish with a 19-point haul.
For Racing, Finn Russell, Juan Imhoff, Joe Rokocoko and Antoine Gibert scored tries and Teddy Iribaren (2) and Ben Volavola succeeded with conversion attempts, with Volavola also kicking a penalty.
The visitors made their intentions known from the outset by running the ball from all areas of the field and their back-line was particularly dangerous with ball in hand.
Their attacking style of play was rewarded when Bonneval, Guitoune and Tauzin scored tries in the first half and Russell and Imhoff also dotted down for the hosts during this period as the teams changed sides at half-time with Toulouse holding a 27-12 lead.
The second half was less frantic and the opening points came in the 59th minute courtesy of Holmes’ try.
Racing finished stronger though and struck back via Rokocoko and Gibert’s late tries before Volavola secured a losing bonus-point when he landed his penalty in the game’s dying moments.
[playbuzz-item item=”61382cdb-a3f1-4006-8540-409dc5902b21″ info=”false” shares=”false” wp-pb-id=”542164″]
Earlier, La Rochelle moved back into third place on the table after notching a 28-21 victory over Grenoble at Stade des Alpes.
La Rochelle were made to work hard for the result and they held a slender 21-18 lead at half-time.
They outscored their hosts by four tries to none with Tawera Kerr-Barlow leading the way with a brace and Faifili Levave and Jean Charles Orioli also crossed the whitewash.
Ihaia West succeeded with four conversions for the visitors and Gaetan Germain scored all Grenoble’s points courtesy of seven penalties.