Ashton equals record in Toulon rout of Clermont
Chris Ashton equalled the Top 14 try-scoring record as Toulon demolished Clermont Auvergne 49-0 and fellow title contenders Racing 92 edged out Lyon on Sunday.
Ashton has been a revelation in his first season in France and scored his 21st try of the campaign to match Napolioni Nalaga's long-standing tally.
The former England wing will surely surpass that record mark for a season with at least four matches remaining and could have much more than that to celebrate, with Toulon in the hunt for the Top 14 title and European Champions Cup.
Three-time European champions Toulon ran riot at Stade Mayol, scoring seven tries to humiliate Clermont and fire a warning to Munster ahead of their Champions Cup quarter-final next weekend.
Toulon were out of sight by half-time after Eric Escande, Romain Taofifenua, Ashton, Josua Tuisova and Malakai Fekitoa touched down to put them 35-0 up at the break.
Fekitoa added a second following the interval and Mamuka Gorgodze also crossed the whitewash, with Anthony Belleau converting all seven tries.
Toulon had gone third briefly with that resounding victory, but Racing moved back above them and took over in second spot with a 24-22 win at Matmut Stadium Gerland.
Racing will head into their last-eight showdown with Clermont on the back of two consecutive wins, Baptiste Chouzenoux and Pat Lambie scoring the only tries of the game.
Lionel Beauxis scored all 22 points for the home side, but his try two minutes from time with Racing down to 13 men came too late in the day.