Ruan Pienaar kicked 15 points as Montpellier edged Clermont 30-29, while there were also wins for Toulon, Lyon, La Rochelle, Toulouse, Racing 92 and Pau in the French Top 14.
Trailing by six with three minutes remaining, wing Nemani Nadolo scored a try to get Montpellier within a point of their hosts. Pienaar stepped up to take the match-defining kick and the scrumhalf held his nerve to calmly slot the conversion for a result that took Montpellier back to the top of the log.
Before the late drama, the two sides were engaged in a see-saw battle with the lead exchanging hands several times. Ultimately, it would be Montpellier who took a 17-16 lead into the break thanks to a first-half brace from Louis Picamoles.
Much like Pienaar for Montpellier, the boot of scrumhalf Greig Laidlaw kept Clermont in the contest. With 15 minutes to go, a converted try put Clermont 29-23 up before Nadolo and Pienaar’s heroics turned the match on its head.
In other notable results, Toulon cruised to a 36-12 win over Bordeaux, Lyon scored 10 tries in their 71-17 drubbing of Agen, La Rochelle secured a 33-24 victory against Brive, Toulouse lashed Oyonnax 37-15, Racing pipped Castres 18-13 and Pau thrashed Stade Français 40-5.
Round 16 results:
Clermont 29 Montpellier 30
Toulon 36 Bordeaux 12
Lyon 71 Agen 17
La Rochelle 33 Brive 24
Toulouse 37 Oyonnax 15
Castres 13 Racing 18
Stade 5 Pau 40