Bordeaux stunned defending champions Racing 15-9 in round one of the French Top 14, while there were also wins for Stade Français, Castres and Toulouse.
Racing’s title defence got off to the worst possible start as Bordeaux’s new marque signing Ian Madigan outkicked Dan Carter five penalties to three in the match.
Bordeaux held a slender 6-3 advantage at the break, but Racing failed to overturn the deficit as Madigan continued his perfect kicking display in the second half with three more successful attempts off the tee, while Carter added two more penalties to Racing’s tally.
Elsewhere, Stade Français surged to the top of the table with a 54-20 bonus-point victory over Grenoble. Stade finished 12th last year, but looked a different prospect altogether in their campaign opener with five tries. Flyhalf Jules Plisson added four conversions and seven penalties to Stade’s score. Grenoble scored 17 of their points in the second half, which included a brace by fullback Gio Aplon.
Castres beat Pau 28-11 despite playing with 14 men for over an hour after scrumhalf Rory Kockott was red-carded in the 19th minute. Despite the handicap, Castres outscored the visitors three tries to one.
Toulouse handed Montpellier a 20-12 defeat. The winners crossed for two tries, while Jake White’s side could only counter with four penalty goals off the boot of Ben Botica.
In their first game back in top-flight rugby, Lyon drew 15-15 with Brive, while Brock James’s last-gasp penalty also earned La Rochelle a 30-30 tie with Clermont.
On Sunday, Bayonne stunned last season's runners-up Toulon 28-23.
Round 1 results:
Bordeaux 15 Racing 9
Stade Français 54 Grenoble 20
Castres 28 Pau 11
Toulouse 20 Montpellier 12
Lyon 15 Brive 15
La Rochelle 30 Clermont 30
Bayonne 28 Toulon 23
Photo: Romain Perreocheau/Getty Images