Montpellier make statement of intent looks back at the English Premiership, French Top 14 and Celtic Pro12 matches played this weekend.

Montpellier ran in nine tries to secure a 61-22 win over bottom-feeders Bayonne, whose relegation to the Pro D2 was confirmed last week already.

Australian winger Joe Tomane scored a first-half hat-trick, while centre Frans Steyn also crossed the line for one of six scores which gave the winners a 40-8 lead at the break.

Montpellier continued to apply all the pressure on their opponents in the second half. Steyn complete completed his double, but Willie du Plessis proved to be Montpellier’s star performer. The flyhalf added 21 points via eight conversions and a try to put the finishing touches on a dominate display.

The result keeps Montpellier in third position, four points behind second-placed Clermont, but with a game in hand.

In other Top 14 matches, Toulon edged Castres 23-14, Clermont were in rampant form as they trounced Grenoble 59-18, a resurgent Stade Français hammered Pau 51-16, Bordeaux narrowly beat Brive 22-19 and Racing defeated Toulouse 10-8. In the upset of the weekend, Lyon stunned table-toppers La Rochelle 29-25.

In the Premiership, Saracens scored 15 points in the last 12 minutes to secure a stunning 27-25 comeback win over bitter-rivals Northampton Saints. Bristol were relegated following a 36-21 loss to log-leaders Wasps, Gary Gold’s Worcester erased a half-time deficit to beat Bath 25-19, it was one-way traffic at Welford Road as the Leicester Tigers smashed the Newcastle Falcons 30-3, Gloucester held off the Sale Sharks to clinch a 39-30 win and the Exeter Chiefs sealed a 39-26 win against Harlequins.

In results from the Celtic Pro12, the Glasgow Warriors brought Zebre back to earth with a 45-10 win over the Italians, the Cardiff Blues inflicted a 35-17 defeat on the Ospreys, Munster edged Ulster 22-20 in a titanic clash, the Scarlets downed the Newport Gwent Dragons 21-16, Leinster clinched a 37-24 bonus-point win over Connacht, and Edinburgh slumped to a surprise 21-6 defeat at the hands of Treviso.

Photo: AFP Images

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Mariette Adams