Toulon fired late to beat Castres 28-27, while there were also wins for Toulouse, Racing, Lyon, Clermont and Pau in the French Top 14.
Castres had won their two opening games, while Toulon were on a two-game losing streak, and the teams looked set to stick to the form book as the former led 21-15 at the break. But while Toulon received a red card in the 70th minute, they were still able to score eight points in the last five minutes to snatch a victory.
Earlier in the game, tries by wing Martin Laveau and scrumhalf Rory Kockott, coupled with two penalties and a drop goal by Ben Urdapilleta, put the visitors in charge. Two more penalties extended Castres’ advantage, but Toulon fought back and got within seven following a well-worked try by prop Sebastien Taofifenua.
Toulon captain Mathieu Bastareaud then got his marching orders for his part in an on-field scuffle, but that setback inspired the hosts. France U20 star Louis Carbonel came on and kicked a penalty before wing Filipo Nakosi crashed over for the winning score with little over a minute remaining.
In other results, Toulouse ran in five tries to beat La Rochelle 33-26, Racing thrashed Agen 59-7 in the biggest win of the weekend, Lyon beat Perpignan 22-16, Clermont registered a 42-20 victory over Stade Français, prop Lourens Adriaanse scored an important try as Pau defeated Grenoble 24-21, and Bordeaux held Montpellier to a dull 9-9 draw.
Round 3 results:
Toulon 28 Castres 27
Toulouse 33 La Rochelle 26
Racing 59 Agen 7
Lyon 22 Perpignan 16
Clermont 42 Stade Français 20
Pau 24 Grenoble 21
Bordeaux 9 Montpellier 9
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