Toulon beat Toulouse 25-10 to snap their 14-match unbeaten streak, while there were also French Top 14 wins for Grenoble, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Castres and Lyon.
In the surprise result of the round, Malakai Fekitoa scored a brace to help struggling Toulon stun the league leaders on Saturday.
Even more remarkable was that Toulon had to play the final 25 minutes of the match a man down after prop Florian Fresia was shown a red card for punching Lucas Tauzin.
It was Toulouse’s first loss since they dropped points against Castres last September.
Toulon’s Francois Trinh-Duc and Toulouse’s Romain Ntamack traded early penalties, but it was Toulon who scored the first try as fullback JP Pietersen crashed over for just his third try of the season.
Toulon then took advantage of a handling error as Fekitoa scooped up the ball and passed it to winger Josua Tuisova, before receiving it back and scoring to make it 15-3 at half-time.
The second half got off to a raucous start as Tuisova was sent to the sin bin just 14 seconds into the half for a high tackle and his teammate Friesa was sent off 15 minutes later.
Despite their disadvantage, Toulon went further ahead thanks to Fekitoa’s second and a penalty from flyhalf Anthony Belleau. Toulouse did get some joy from the match as they denied Toulon a bonus point with a late try from Pierre Pages.
However, the loss did not impact Toulouse’s dominance on the table, as nearest chasers Clermont were held to a 31-31 draw by Racing 92. That result meant that the leaders remain five points clear of second-placed Clermont.
In other results, Castres dealt a blow to La Rochelle’s playoff hopes with a 25-11 victory, dropping their opponents down to eighth place on the table, with Stade Français replacing them at seventh despite losing 21-17 to Grenoble.
Meanwhile, third-placed Lyon had to work hard to claim a 27-24 victory against lowly Pau, Bordeaux beat last-placed Perpignan 31-22 and a brace from veteran Louis Picamoles took Montpellier to a 33-17 bonus-point win against Agen.
Round 21 results:
Toulon 25 Toulouse 10
Bordeaux 31 Perpignan 22
Montpelier 33 Agen 17
Grenoble 21 Stade Français 17
Castes 25 La Rochelle 11
Pau 24 Lyon 27
Clermont 31 Racing 31
Photo: B. Papon/L’Équipe