Ruan Pienaar and Nico Janse van Rensburg starred as Montpellier beat Oyonnax 43-30, while there were also Top 14 wins for Toulon, Pau, Toulouse, Lyon, Castres and Racing 92.
In a thrilling nine-try contest, Montpellier ultimately prevailed to come away with a bonus-point victory which extends their lead at the top of the log.
The visitors had seven South Africans in their match 23 (six starters and one reserve), but it was Pienaar and Janse van Rensburg whose point-scoring contributions aided Montpellier’s cause against a plucky Oyonnax outfit.
Pienaar kicked 11 points (four conversions and a penalty) and Janse van Rensburg scored a crucial try which ensured Montpellier had the necessary three or more tries to claim the bonus point.
Montpellier were 29-16 ahead at half-time, thanks to four tries, including a brace from wing Nemani Nadolo.
Oyonnax upped the ante and took the fight to their visitors in the second half, but two further tries in the last quarter pushed Montpellier out to an unassailable lead.
In other notable results, Chris Ashton bagged a hat-trick to guide Toulon to a commanding 43-5 win over Stade Français, Pau edged Brive 21-16, Gael Fickou scored three tries in Toulouse’s 52-25 dismantling of Agen, Clermont slumped to a 36-10 defeat against Lyon, Castres battled to a 7-6 victory against Bordeaux and Racing held on to beat La Rochelle 19-12.
Round 17 results:
Oyonnax 30 Montpellier 43
Toulon 43 Stade Français 5
Brive 16 Pau 21
Agen 25 Toulouse 52
Lyon 36 Clermont 10
Bordeaux 6 Castres 7
Racing 19 La Rochelle 12