Jono Ross captained Stade Français in their exciting 31-26 victory over La Rochelle, while there were also French Top 14 wins for Clermont, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Brive and Toulon.
La Rochelle came into this clash listed at the top of the log and were favourites against the inconsistent Stade. But the hosts, under the leadership of Ross, fought bravely to down La Rochelle.
La Rochelle started well and opened a 6-0 lead, but two quick tries by flank Antoine Burban meant Stade went into the break 14-9 up.
Stade’s momentum continued into the second half and soon they added a penalty and two more converted tries, leaving La Rochelle lagging. The visitors, though, didn’t give up. They narrowed the gap with two converted tries, but Stade put in a commendable defensive effort to close out the result to get back to winning ways.
Elsewhere, Flip van der Merwe’s Clermont erased a half-time deficit to beat Castres 29-19; trailing by eight in the last 10 minutes, Bordeaux fired late to defeat hosts Pau 30-28; flyhalf Willie du Plessis kicked a crucial conversion and a penalty to help Bayonne snatch a 22-22 draw with Lyon.
Toulouse, with prop Gurthrö Steenkamp in their ranks, lashed the struggling Grenoble 31-3, and Brive caused an upset with their stunning 25-16 win over the star-studded Racing.
On Sunday, Toulon secured a crushing 28-6 bonus-point win against Montpellier, who had earlier this week confirmed the departure of coach Jake White at the end of the current season. Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen has recovered from the injury that ruled him out of the Boks' Rugby Championship campaign and started in his first game of the season for Toulon.
Round seven results:
Stade Français 31 La Rochelle 26
Clermont 29 Castres 19
Pau 28 Bordeaux 30
Bayonne 22 Lyon 22
Toulouse 31 Grenoble 3
Brive 25 Racing 16
Toulon 28 Montpellier 6
Photo: Miguel Medina/Getty Images