There were victories for La Rochelle and Toulouse in the Top 14 as they beat Racing 92 and Clermont respectively on Sunday.
La Rochelle 16-9 Racing 92
La Rochelle moved up to third in the Top 14 as they got the better of Racing 92, winning 16-9 at Stade Marcel Deflandre on Sunday.
However, they will be sweating over the fitness of Brock James ahead of their Champions Cup campaign, as he left the contest injured early.
La Rochelle led 13-6 at the interval thanks to a try from James’ fly-half replacement, Vincent Rattez, and the boot of scrum-half Alexis Bales.
In reply Racing 92, who led through an early Maxime Machenaud penalty, only added a further penalty on 37 minutes to remain in touch.
Bales crucially managed to extend the gap to 10 points on 55 minutes with his third penalty of the game meaning Racing needed two scores.
Fortunately for the Paris outfit they were able to land a third three-pointer soon after to get back within a score of their hosts, but they did not show enough to get over the whitewash to level matters as La Rochelle held on for victory.
For La Rochelle:
Pens: Bales 3
For Racing 92:
Pens: Machenaud 3
La Rochelle: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Gabriel Lacroix, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Pierre Aguillon, 11 Jeremy Sinzelle, 10 Brock James, 9 Alexis Bales, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Lepani Botia Veivuke, 6 Gregory Lamboley, 5 Jone Qovu Nailiko, 4 Romain Sazy, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Jean Charles Orioli, 1 Mike Corbel
Replacements: 16 Pierre Bourgarit, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Jason Eaton, 19 Kevin Gourdon, 20 Jean Victor Goillot, 21 Paul Jordaan, 22 Vincent Rattez, 23 Vincent Pelo
Racing 92: 15 Juan Imhoff, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Anthony Tuitavake, 12 Albert Vulivuli, 11 Joe Rokocoko, 10 Maxime Machenaud, 9 Xavier Chauveau, 8 So’otala Fa’aso’o, 7 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 6 Yannick Nyanga Kabasele, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Bernard le Roux, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Camille Chat, 1 Viliamu Afatia
Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Vasil Kakovin, 18 Edwin Maka, 19 Manuel Carizza, 20 Teddy Iribaren, 21 Louis Dupichot, 22 Antonie Claassen, 23 Cedate Gomes Sa
Referee: Pascal Gaüzère
Assistant referees: Cyril Lafon, Patrick Pechambert
TMO: Éric Briquet Campin
Toulouse 28-18 Clermont
Toulouse picked up their fifth victory from seven outings this season to send them into Europe in second position on the Top 14 table.
Antoine Dupont (2) and Zack Holmes’ tries along with the boot of full-back Thomas Ramos saw them to the win at Stade Ernest Wallon.
Dupont’s tries helped put them into a 17-13 lead at the break, with Clermont going over via scrum-half Morgan Parra, who also added a conversion to go with fly-half Camille Lopez’s drop-goal and penalty as they stayed in touch.
But Holmes’ try soon after the break and the boot of Ramos helped give Toulouse a handsome 28-13 lead, with David Strettle’s try for Clermont serving only as a consolation score for visitors Clermont, who remain in ninth place.
Tries: Dupont 2, Holmes
Cons: Ramos 2
Pens: Ramos 3
Tries: Parra, Strettle
Drop Goal: Lopez
Toulouse: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Talalelei Gray, 7 Louis-Benoit Madaule, 6 Carl Axtens, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Yoann Maestri, 3 Dorian Aldegheri, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Lucas Pointud
Replacements: 16 Julien Marchand, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Piula Faasalele, 19 Florian Verhaeghe, 20 Sebastien Bezy, 21 Jarrod Poi, 22 Maxime Medard, 23 Maks van Dyk
Clermont: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 David Strettle, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Damian Penaud, 11 Remy Grosso, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Judicael Cancoriet, 5 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Yohan Beheregaray, 1 Etienne Falgoux
Replacements: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Beqa Kakabadze, 18 Paul Jedrasiak, 19 Peceli Yato, 20 Greig Laidlaw, 21 Atila Septar, 22 Peter Betham, 23 Rabah Slimani
Referee: Alexandre Ruiz
Assistant referees: Thomas Charabas, Laurent Perrin
TMO: Laurent Sclafer