JP Pietersen and Marcel van der Merwe starred as Toulon beat Oyonnax 49-25, while Racing 92, Agen, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Pau and Castres also picked up wins in the French Top 14.
Before kick-off, Toulon were languishing in seventh position on the log following a set of poor results. But this comfortable win sees captain Duane Vermeulen’s side climb up to fifth in the standings.
Playing in Mayol, Toulon got off to a brilliant start when Pietersen – at outside centre – crossed the line two minutes into the game. But Oyonnax sprung a surprise when they scored three tries in 10 minutes for a 19-18 lead at the interval.
Requiring an improved second-half performance, Toulon dominated after the break when they gradually ground down Oyonnax’s resistance.
Van der Merwe, who was used as a replacement tighthead prop from the 55th minute, barged over for one of four second-half scores for Toulon. Oyonnax had no answer for the onslaught from their hosts and could only add two penalties to their tally.
In other notable results, Racing edged Toulouse 23-19, centre Johann Sadie inspired Agen to a 27-13 win over Brive, Bordeaux pulled off a big upset when they downed La Rochelle 29-19 despite conceding in the 60th minute, Montpellier thrashed Lyon 38-17, Pau shocked Clermont 22-21 and Castres beat an out-of-sorts Stade Français side 28-6.
Round 13 results:
Toulon 49 Oyonnax 25
Racing 23 Toulouse 19
Agen 27 Brive 13
Bordeaux 29 La Rochelle 19
Montpellier 38 Lyon 17
Pau 22 Clermont 21
Castres 28 Stade Français 6
Photo: Guillaume Ruoppolo/Getty Images