La Rochelle off top spot as Toulon find their groove


Toulon registered consecutive wins for the first time in the Top 14 this season as they comfortably saw off Montpellier 28-6.

Guilhem Guirado, Josua Tuisova and Liam Gill touched down for last season's beaten play-off finalists, backed up by an accurate day's work for Leigh Halfpenny, who contributed 13 points with the boot.

After a thrilling, last-gasp 23-21 win over Clermont Auvergne last week, Toulon will have been grateful to get the job done in much calmer fashion.

The four-time French champions climb to third in the standings, with Montpellier missing out on top spot, an opportunity afforded to them by La Rochelle going down 31-26 at Stade Francais.

La Rochelle had led the standings heading into the seventh round of fixtures, but they emerge from it second, behind Clermont, after a four-tries-to-two defeat.

Antoine Burban's brace had the Parisians 14-9 ahead at the break, but three Brock James penalties kept La Rochelle in the hunt.

However, Stade kept the throttle down after the break as Raphael Lakafia touched down before Hugh Pyle forced a penalty try to open up a 19-point lead.

Tries for James and Arthur Retiere set up a nervy finish, but Stade clung on to a third win of the season.