Springbok winger Dillyn Leyds scored as La Rochelle beat Clermont 26-13 in the French top-flight on Saturday ahead of next weekend’s Champions Cup semi-final with Exeter.
Champions Cup holders La Rochelle welcome the English club to a sold-out Matmut Atlantique in Bordeaux next Sunday.
Leyds claimed a 78th-minute bonus point with his try as his club moved within a point of Top 14 leaders Toulouse, who head to third-placed Stade Francais later in the day.
The home side led 19-0 at the break on the sun-kissed Atlantic coast after Argentina prop Joel Sclavi, flanker Paul Boudehent and Leyds’ fellow winger Teddy Thomas crossed.
The response from two-time French champions Clermont came 10 minutes after the break as young scrum-half Baptiste Jauneau found a way over.
Flyhalf Anthony Belleau and his replacement Jules Plisson took the score to 19-13 after an hour. Leyds scored his sixth try of the season late on as Ronan O’Gara’s team stretched their unbeaten run to eight games.
Pau head to Brive later on Saturday in the relegation battle and Toulouse prepare for the other Champions Cup semi against Leinster with a trip to Paris in a meeting of French rugby’s two most decorated sides.
On Sunday, Lyon visit Bordeaux-Begles in the fight for the end-of-season play-off places.
© Agence France-Presse
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