Antoine Dupont’s first-half double set Toulouse on their way to a 28-18 victory over champions Clermont Auvergne which moved them up to third and La Rochelle beat out-of-sorts Racing 92 in the Top 14 on Sunday.
Toulouse were brimming with confidence ahead of Clermont’s trip to Stade Ernest-Wallon following three consecutive wins and they maintained their momentum, outscoring Clermont by three tries to two.
Scrum-half Dupont crossed twice in the space of 13 minutes to give Toulouse a 17-13 advantage at the break, Morgan Parra going over for Clermont and converting to add to a Camille Lopez penalty and drop goal.
The lively Zack Holmes stretched Toulouse’s advantage with a third try early in the second half and Thomas Ramos took his tally from the tee to 13 points before a David Strettle try which proved to be too little, too late for a Clermont side that has now suffered back-to-back defeats.
La Rochelle sit fourth in the table after responding to their defeat at Toulon with a 16-9 success over Racing.
Racing suffered a third loss in a row at Stade Marcel-Deflandre, where Vincent Rattez scored the only try of the game for the home side.
La Rochelle suffered a blow when they lost Brock James to injury in the first half, but the fly-half’s replacement Rattez went over just after coming on and Alexis Bales scored 11 points with the boot. Three Maxime Machenaud penalties were all Racing could muster in response.