South African scrumhalf Rory Kockott was jeered as Toulon took a morale-boosting 19-13 win off Castres in the Top 14.
The win carried with it a tinge of vengeance for Kockott declared publicly once and for all that he would remain with Castres for the foreseeable future, saying his on-off move to Toulon was not in his, or his family's, best interests.
Castres are now apparently obliged to pay Toulon between €300-400,000 in compensation for a broken contract. Kockott who masterminded Castres’ 19-14 win over Toulon in last season’s French championship final, had signed the pre-contract with Toulon in October last year, agreeing to a three-year deal.
Toulon’s millionaire president Mourad Boudjellal joked: 'It brings back memories of when I used to go to Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas,' he said. 'But I never won as much money as this.'
Jonny Wilkinson won the battle of the boot, scoring four penalties and converting Matt Giteau’s try, whereas Kockott missed three shots at goal, succeeding with just two penalties and the enhancement of Remy Grosso’s try.
Clermont missed the opportunity to cement their position at the top of the log when they went down 16-13 to Grenoble on Friday.
Despite putting their national players on the bench, they led 10-9 at half-time through a try by wing Julien Malzieu, a penalty and a conversion by Morgan Parra, but they were undone by a late 80m burst by Ratu Raitini, who scored under the posts.
Montpellier soared up the standings with a 50-point win over Perpignan on Saturday while Toulouse, ignoring France coach Philippe Saint-André's appeal to rest his Six Nations players, beat Biarritz 16-6, with a try by Gaël Fickou and goal-kicks from Jean-Marc Doussain.
In the late game on Saturday, Brive picked up a 28-12 bonus-point win over title hopefuls Stade Français, with Bok flyhalf Morné Steyn scoring all Stade's points with penalties.
Grenoble 16 Clermont 13
Toulon 19 Castres 13
Biarritz 6 Toulouse 16
Montpellier 50 Perpignan 19
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux postponed
Racing Métro 18 Bayonne 8
Brive 28 Stade Français 12
Photo: Bertrand Langlois/AFP Photo
Burger’s big impact
Schalk Burger still has a role to play for the Boks, as a starter or substitute, writes JON CARDINELLI.
The future is now
Handré Pollard has arrived and may be around for a while yet, writes RYAN VREDE.
Rugby’s replay madness
The increasing involvement of the TV producer is beginning to have damaging consequences, writes MARK KEOHANE.