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The French connection

From Bod’s hat-trick to Sexton’s drop-goal, no opponent has defined this Irish rugby century quite like France

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Paddy Jackson's Perpignan claim first home win of the season

By Alex Fisher
Lyon’s Thibaut Regard celebrates his try

Lyon claimed their first Top 14 win since February as they ran in four tries to beat Toulon 42-33 on Saturday.

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Back-to-back defeats against Castres and Toulouse has seen Lyon slip away from the top two but they boosted their play-off chances thanks to a superb second-half display.

There was nothing to separate the two sides at half-time but tries from Carl Fearns, Mickael Ivaldi and Thibaut Regard took Lyon to victory.

Clermont Auvergne kept the pressure on leaders Toulouse with a 28-13 win over strugglers Agen, Morgan Parra kicking 20 points for the two-time champions.

Bottom club Perpignan claimed their first home win of the season with a 22-16 triumph over Grenoble – the side directly above them in the table.

Enzo Selponi was Perpignan’s hero with 17 points from the tee, while Jonathan Bousquet dotted down for their only try as Gaetan Germain’s efforts were in vain for Grenoble.

Pau slipped to a fourth loss in five games as a first-half blitz from Montpellier set up a 24-15 win – Jacques du Plessis, Timoci Nagusa and Fulgence Quedraogo all crossing in the opening 40.

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Stade Francais also enjoyed a profitable first half in their clash with Castres, running in 29 points to end their opponents’ six game winning streak in all competitions.

After the break Stade could only add three more but it was enough to complete a comfortable 32-16 win.

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