Stade Français claimed a 27-8 victory over winless Perpignan to climb into fourth place on the Top 14 log, while there were also wins for Clermont, Castres, Lyon, Pau, Toulouse and Racing 92.
In a rather one-sided affair in Paris, the hosts shrugged off a first-half yellow card to claim a bonus-point victory, with on-loan scrumhalf André Warner coming off the bench to score the all-important fourth try in the closing stages of the match.
It was the visitors who claimed first blood as flyhalf Paddy Jackson slotted a penalty. However, Heyneke Meyer’s side struck back minutes later when French wing Lester Etien stepped through a couple of tackles and sprinted through to score, with flyhalf Nicolás Sánchez missing his conversion, but kicking a penalty to make it 8-3 to the hosts.
Stade were then handed a blow when flank Sekou Makalou was sent to the sin bin after the TMO spotted an elbow on hooker Raphael Carbou. The home side not only saw out the yellow card period without conceding, but added to their lead through a try from wing Nayacalevu Waisea, which made it 13-3 at the break.
It took just two minutes of the second half for Stade to get their third when a 50m run from centre Gael Fickou saw the French international cross the tryline. Staring at a 17-point deficit, Perpignan fought hard, but only managed to cross for their first try in the 74th minute through flank Yohann Vivalda.
Desperate for the bonus point, Stade went on the offensive and managed to ensure the maximum when Warner touched down, with replacement flyhalf Morné Steyn adding a conversion.
In other results on Saturday, Rhynardt Elstadt was among the try-scorers as Toulouse temporarily climbed into first place, thanks to a 27-20 win over Agen. Jan Serfontein’s try was in vain as Montpellier slumped to a 25-14 loss to Lyon, Castres claimed a 16-6 win over Grenoble, Lourens Adriaanse scored one of Pau’s six tries as they thrashed a 14-man Bordeaux-Begles 40-23, and Racing 92 gave their playoff hopes a boost by beating Toulon 22-13.
In the only game on Sunday, Clermont climbed back to the summit of the table, thanks to an emphatic 44-19 win over title rivals La Rochelle, who had three players, including flank Wiaan Liebenberg, sent to the sin bin.
Round 14 results:
Stade Francais 27 Perpignan 8
Toulouse 27 Agen 20
Montpellier 14 Lyon 25
Grenoble 6 Castres 16
Pau 40 Bordeaux 23
Racing 92 22 Toulon 13
Clermont 44 La Rochelle 19
Photo: Dave Winter/Icon Sport via Getty Images