Clermont Auvergne’s play-off ambitions suffered yet another blow following a 36-10 defeat to Lyon, while there were also wins for Toulon, Toulouse, Pau and Montpellier in the Top 14.
Agen 25-52 Toulouse
Brive 16-21 Pau
Oyonnax 30-43 Montpellier
Lyon 36-10 Clermont Auvergne
Agen 25-52 Toulouse
Toulouse produced one of their best performances of the season to dominate Agen and secure an impressive 52-25 bonus-point triumph.
Ugo Mola’s men initially struggled to gain control of proceedings, despite Louis-Benoit Madaule’s early try, as successive Jake McIntyre penalties took the hosts ahead.
Les Rouge et Noir also suffered a setback with the sin-binning of Gael Fickou, but they responded well with Joe Tekori touching down.
They then scored a third try through Yoann Huget on the stroke of half-time – after Filipo Nakosi had been yellow carded – and it provided the momentum the visitors needed.
Toulouse crossed the whitewash four times in 14 second half minutes via a Fickou hat-trick and another from Huget to blow Agen away.
Francois Cros added an eighth before the home team had a late surge and hit back through Johann Sadie (twice) and Tom Murday, but it was poor performance by Philippe Sella’s charges.
Tries: Sadie 2, Murday
Cons: McIntyre, Vincent
Pens: McIntyre 2
Yellow Card: Nakosi
Tries: Madaule, Tekori, Huget 2, Fickou 3, Cros
Cons: Ramos 6
Yellow Cards: Fickou, Madaule
Agen: 15 Clement Laporte, 14 George Tilsley, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Julien Heriteau, 11 Filipo Nakosi, 10 Jake McIntyre, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Mickael De Marco, 7 Antoine Miquel, 6 Yoan Tanga, 5 Corentin Braendlin, 4 Denis Marchois, 3 Dave Ryan, 2 Facundo Bosch, 1 Quentin Bethune
Replacements: 16 Marc Barthomeuf, 17 Giorgi Tetrashvili, 18 Tom Murday, 19 Tamaz Mchedlidze, 20 Paul Abadie, 21 Thomas Vincent, 22 Pierre Fouyssac, 23 Arthur Joly
Toulouse: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Maxime Medard, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Jean-Marc Doussain, 8 Carl Axtens, 7 Francois Cros, 6 Louis-Benoit Madaule, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Florian Verhaeghe, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Rodrigue Neti
Replacements: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Piula Fa’asalele, 19 Rynhardt Elstadt, 20 Romain Ntamack, 21 Cheslin Kolbe, 22 Yann David, 23 Dorian Aldegheri.
Referee: Mathieu Raynal
Assistant referees: Jonathan Gasnier, Frederic Chazal
TMO: Eric Gauzins
Brive 16-21 Pau
14-man Brive failed to go above Stade Francais and move further away from trouble after a 21-16 defeat to Pau.
Nicolas Godignon’s men were already 18-13 in arrears when Francois Da Ros was sent-off following a hit to the head on Watisoni Votu.
It severely hampered their chances of winning the encounter and Tom Taylor duly kicked a late penalty to make sure of the victory.
The hosts had battled well prior to Da Ros’ indiscretion and went 5-0 in front thanks to Benjamin Petre’s try, but the away side managed to take a 6-5 lead after half-an-hour through Taylor’s brace of penalties.
Said Hireche’s score regained Brive’s advantage just shy of the interval but Simon Mannix’s outfit controlled the second period and went 18-10 in front via successive Votu tries.
Thomas Laranjeira reduced the deficit with a three-pointer, but Da Ros’ red card and Taylor’s accuracy from the tee effectively gave Pau another crucial victory in their hunt for a play-off place.
Laranjeira kicked a last-minute penalty to give Godignon’s men a losing bonus-point, but they were deservedly edged out.
Tries: Petre, Hireche
Pens: Laranjeira 2
Red Card: Da Ros
Tries: Votu 2
Pens: Taylor 3
Brive: 15 Gaetan Germain, 14 Benjamin Lapeyre, 13 Arnaud Mignardi, 12 Benjamin Petre, 11 Benito Masilevu, 10 Thomas Laranjeira, 9 Samuel Marques, 8 Etienne Herjean, 7 Poutasi Luafutu, 6 Said Hireche, 5 Peet Marais, 4 Johan Snyman, 3 Sila Puafisi, 2 Mike Tadjer, 1 Vivien Devisme
Replacements: 16 Francois Da Ros, 17 Demba Bamba, 18 Fabien Sanconnie, 19 Petrus Hauman, 20 Florian Cazenave, 21 Matthieu Ugalde, 22 Sevanaia Galala, 23 Soso Bekoshvili
Pau: 15 Colin Slade, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Julien Fumat, 12 Jale Vatubua, 11 Watisoni Votu, 10 Tom Taylor, 9 Julien Tomas, 8 Steffon Armitage, 7 Sean Dougall, 6 Ben Mowen, 5 Julien Pierre, 4 Fabrice Metz, 3 Malik Hamadache, 2 Quentin Lespiaucq, 1 Thomas Domingo
Replacements: 16 Lucas Rey, 17 Jamie Mackintosh, 18 Antoine Hastoy, 19 Daniel Ramsay, 20 Baptiste Pesenti, 21 Thibault Daubagna, 22 Florian Nicot, 23 Lourens Adriaanse
Referee: Romain Poite
Assistant referees: Flavien Hourquet, Laurent Breil
TMO: Mourad Zitouni
Oyonnax 30-43 Montpellier
Montpellier made sure they would finish the weekend at the Top 14 summit after taking the spoils against Oyonnax in a thrilling game at the Stade Charles-Mathon.
Although they were ultimately outclassed, it was another spirited performance by the hosts, who have produced some battling displays at home recently.
That was certainly prevalent in the opening 25 minutes as the boot of Ben Botica kept them in contention. The visitors were only 10-9 ahead thanks to Benjamin Fall’s try and Ruan Pienaar's penalty, but a penalty try – and a yellow card for Jeremy Gondrand – appeared a significant setback.
To Oyonnax’s credit, they responded well to the sin-binning and crossed the whitewash through Curtis Browning before Nemani Nadolo re-established Montpellier’s dominance.
Nadolo and Daniel Ikpefan then traded efforts either side of the interval before the quality of Vern Cotter’s men began to show.
Gregory Fichten's and Nico Janse van Rensburg’s tries secured the victory and bonus-point, although the home side had the final word when Ulupano Seuteni went over.
Tries: Browning, Ikpefan, Seuteni
Cons: Botica 3
Pens: Botica 3
Yellow Card: Gondrand
Tries: Fall, penalty try, Nadolo 2, Fichten, Janse van Rensburg
Cons: Pienaar 4
Oyonnax: 15 Quentin Etienne, 14 Dug Codjo, 13 Vincent Lasmarrigues, 12 Ulupano Seuteni, 11 Daniel Ikpefan, 10 Ben Botica, 9 Jeremy Gondrand, 8 Curtis Browning, 7 Bilel Taieb, 6 Hika Elliot, 5 Phoenix Battye, 4 Geoffrey Fabbri, 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Quentin MacDonald, 1 Tommy Raynaud
Replacements: 16 Benjamin Geledan, 17 Khatchik Vartanov, 18 Simon Njewel, 19 Maurie Fa’asavalu, 20 James Hall, 21 Maxime Veau, 22 Axel Muller, 23 Pietro Ceccarelli
Montpellier: 15 Benjamin Fall, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Yvan Reilhac, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Francois Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Martin Devergie, 7 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 6 Kelian Galletier, 5 Jarrad Hoeata, 4 Nico Janse van Rensburg, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Gregory Fichten
Replacements: 16 Charles Geli, 17 Mohamed Haouas, 18 Paul Willemse, 19 Louis Picamoles, 20 Enzo Sanga, 21 Thomas Darmon, 22 Vincent Martin, 23 Antoine Guillamon
Referee: Jonathan Dufort
Assistant referees: Thierry Mallet, Thierry Guilloton
TMO: Maxime Chalon
Lyon 36-10 Clermont Auvergne
Matmut Stadium de Gerland
Clermont produced yet another shambolic display as Lyon eased to a comfortable 36-10 victory to put Auvergne’s play-off hopes in severe doubt.
Les Jaunards went into the match well off the pace in the league but, having secured the title in 2017, they have the quality to make a late season surge.
That now appears doubtful after they once again succumbed meekly to one of the top-six contenders away from the Marcel Michelin.
Franck Azema’s men began with tempo but mistakes soon started to creep into their game and a disastrous drop by Patricio Fernandez gave Toby Arnold a simple score.
Although Mike Harris then butchered an opportunity – after Mali Hingano’s yellow card for Clermont– the fly-half made up for his error by benefiting from Noa Nakaitaci’s indecision to increase the buffer.
Auvergne did get on the board just shy of the interval via Greig Laidlaw, but ill-discipline was to prove costly in the second period. Firstly, Nakaitaci was sin-binned for a petulant act before Paul Jedrasiak followed him for taking Rudi Wulf without the ball – an indiscretion which led to a penalty try.
Down to 13 men, the visitors conceded again via Baptiste Couilloud but hit back after Nakaitaci’s return when Aaron Jarvis barrelled across the whitewash.
Azema’s side did increase the pressure in the final quarter but Lyon’s defence remained stout and Harris’ three-pointer and Stephane Clement’s try completed a fine win.
Tries: Arnold, Harris, penalty try, Couilloud, Clement
Cons: Harris 2, Michalak
Yellow Cards: Hingano, Nakaitaci, Jedrasiak
Lyon: 15 Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 14 Toby Arnold, 13 Rudi Wulf, 12 Thibaut Regard, 11 Alexis Palisson, 10 Mike Harris, 9 Baptiste Couilloud, 8 Liam Gill, 7 Dylan Cretin, 6 Julien Puricelli, 5 Hendrik Roodt, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Clement Ric, 2 Mickael Ivaldi, 1Albertus Buckle
Replacements: 16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Stephane Clement, 18 Taiasina Tuifua, 19 Felix Lambey, 20 Frederic Michalak, 21 Theophile Cotte, 22 Theo Belan, 23 Francisco Gomez Kodela
Clermont: 15 Setariki Tuicuvu, 14 Noa Nakaitaci, 13 Mali Hingano, 12 Luke McAlister, 11 Remy Grosso, 10 Patricio Fernandez, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Judicael Cancoriet, 6 Peceli Yato, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Paul Jedrasiak, 3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 Yohan Beheregaray, 1 Etienne Falgoux
Replacements: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Raphael Chaume, 18 Julien Ruaud, 19 Damien Chouly, 20 Charly Trussardi, 21 Remi Lamerat, 22 Scott Spedding, 23 Sipili Falatea
Referee: Laurent Cardona
Assistant referees: Alexandre Ruiz, Bruno Gabaldon
TMO: Laurent Sclafer