Wasps scored four tries to hammer Toulon 32-6 in the European Champions Cup in Conventry on Sunday, while Clermont defeated the Neath-Swansea Ospreys.
Wasps’ convincing performance against the defending champions ensured that Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen’s debut for his new club ended in defeat.
Wasps controlled the opening exchanges, as error-strewn Toulon struggled to keep up with the hosts' pace. Former Bok Ashley Johnson and All Blacks Charles Piutau and Frank Halai featured prominently for Wasps, with Toulon unable to contain the New Zealand duo.
Two converted tries inside the first 10 minutes by Nathan Hughes and Ruaridh Jackson set the platform for Wasps, who took an unassailable 14-0 lead. Two penalty goals to either side gave Wasps a 20-6 advantage at the turn.
Toulon failed to add to their tally after the break, but conceded two further tries.
First Piutau made a scintillating break to set up Halai for the third, before Hughes drove over from a lineout for his second try and the Wasps’ fourth. Toulon cleared their bench, but it helped little as the Wasps defence stood firm. Surprisingly, Wasps are now top in the pool of death.
Earlier on Sunday, Clermont walked away 34-29 victors in an eight-try thriller against the Ospreys. Clermont’s new signing David Strettle scored a try in each half, while Aurélien Rougerie and Wesley Fofana went over for the other two tries to give their team a bonus-point win.
The Ospreys were well behind on the scoreboard, but displayed excellent resilience in the closing stages to score twice and bank two bonus points.
Wasps (32) – Tries: Nathan Hughes (2), Ruaridh Jackson, Frank Halai. Conversions: Jackson (3). Penalties: Elliot Daly, Jackson.
Toulon (6) – Penalties: Jonathan Pelissie (2).
Clermont (34) – Tries: David Strettle (2), Aurélien Rougerie, Wesley Fofana. Conversions: Camille Lopez (2), Morgan Parra (2). Penalties: Lopez (2).
Ospreys (29) – Tries: Justin TIpuric, Eli Walker, Sam Parry, Thomas Habberfield. Conversions: Dan Biggar (3). Drop goal: Biggar.
Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images