Johan Goosen scored 23 points as Racing 92 bounced back from two painful losses to Top 14 title rivals and made light of Dan Carter's absence with a valuable 28-20 victory at Bordeaux-Begles.
Despite following a humiliating thrashing at Montpellier with defeat to Toulon last week, Racing nevertheless opted to rest star fly-half Carter and his half-back partner Maxime Machenaud on Saturday ahead of next weekend's European Champions Cup quarter-final against Toulon.
That decision looked as though it could backfire when Bordeaux entered the interval leading 10-9, thanks largely to an early try from Metuisela Talebula.
Yet Antonie Claassen crossed to put Racing in front for the first time and full-back Goosen, who had kicked three first-half penalties, duly claimed two tries of his own in the next 11 minutes to leave Bordeaux stunned.
A converted penalty try gave the visitors a glimmer of hope with five minutes remaining, but Racing were not to be denied as they moved up to third ahead of Sunday's meeting between leaders Clermont and Toulon, who are now fourth.
Stade Francais failed to gain a morale-boosting win ahead of their Champions Cup last-eight tie with Leicester Tigers, the Parisian side's miserable domestic season continuing with a 21-18 defeat to La Rochelle.
Silvere Tian was the villain as Oyonnax were beaten 27-20 by rivals Grenoble. Having earlier scored his side's third try, Tian was sent off for dissent by referee Romain Poite with the score level at 20-all and had to be prevented from confronting the official again after the full-time whistle had blown.
Castres boosted their hopes of a top-six finish with a hard-fought 15-9 win over Toulouse, while Pau were inspired by Colin Slade as they pushed rock-bottom Agen closer to relegation with a 33-26 triumph at Stade Armandie.
In addition to splitting the posts seven times with his right boot, Slade claimed two of his team's three tries to finish with a personal tally of 28 points.