Ruan Pienaar starred as Montpellier thrashed 14-man Toulouse 66-15, while there were also wins for Bordeaux, Toulon, Grenoble, La Rochelle, Racing and Stade Français in the French Top 14.
Montpellier had claimed a draw and suffered a defeat in the previous two rounds but, with eight Saffas in their lineup (six in the run-on XV), they turned the corner in emphatic fashion.
Scrumhalf Pienaar scored one of Montpellier’s 10 tries and slotted five conversions, while No 8 Louis Picamoles scored four tries. Flyhalf Johan Goosen took over the kicking duties in the last quarter of the match and added three conversions.
Montpellier scored five first-half tries to take a commanding 31-3 lead into the break. Their cause, however, was considerably helped when Toulouse lock Piula Fa’asalele received a red card for a dangerous tackle in the 17th minute.
The home side continued on their merry try-scoring ways with five more touchdowns after the interval, while Toulouse could only score twice to at least get their tally to double figures.
In other results, scrumhalf Baptiste Serin contributed 13 points via the boot to guide Bordeaux to a stunning 23-19 upset win over the previously unbeaten Clermont, Toulon smashed Agen 33-3, Grenoble outlasted Perpignan 31-22 in an action-packed match, La Rochelle defeated Lyon 30-13, wing Simon Zebo’s brace of tries inspired Racing to a 27-11 victory over Castres, and Gael Fickou scored twice and Morné Steyn booted two conversions and two penalties to lift Stade Français to a comfortable 25-13 triumph against Pau.
Round 5 results:
Montpellier 66 Toulouse 15
Bordeaux 23 Clermont 19
Toulon 33 Agen 3
Grenoble 31 Perpignan 22
La Rochelle 30 Lyon 13
Racing 27 Castres 11
Stade Français 25 Pau 13
Photo: Alexandre Dimou/Getty Images