Morné Steyn was a helpless spectator as Morgan Parra scored all Clermont's points in a comprehensive 25-13 win over Stade Français on Saturday.
Parra, discarded by the French national team, kicked six penalties and scored a try with an alert dart from a penalised scrum to push Stade off the top of the Top 14 log. The Springbok flyhalf, given few opportunities, could offer just two penalties and the conversion of Digby Ioane's late try for Stade Français.
Toulon, who started with just three French players after losing six to the national team, survived a determined fight from Biarritz to win 33-20 and climb to fifth on the log. They started well, with a try by South African flanker Joe van Niekerk, but then were reeled in by the boot of Dimitri Yachvili, who kicked four penalties in a lead of 20-13 just after half-time. But two tries by England's Delon Armitage and one by Australian Matt Giteau, aided by three penalties and two conversions by England's Jonny Wilkinson saw the European champions home.
South African scrumhalf Rory Kockott kicked four penalties as Castres scraped home past Oyonnax 17-16, while Toulouse, who started with Gurthrö Steenkamp, Chiliboy Ralepelle and Jano Vermaak among their stellar line-up, fell 12-15 to Montpellier in a game decided by penalties.
Heini Adams, the former Bulls scrumhalf, contributed two well-executed tries in Bordeaux's upset 38-17 win over Grenoble on Friday night. Grenoble were not helped by South African lock Hendrick Roodt spending 10 minutes in the sin-bin.
Bordeaux 38 Grenoble 17
Clermont 25 Stade Français 13
Toulon 33 Biarritz 20
Bayonne 9 Brive 6
Perpignan 19 Racing Métro 19
Castres 17 Oyonnax 16
Toulouse 12 Montpellier 15
Photo: Thierry Zoccolan/AFP