Toulouse bonus-point victory extends gap to Clermont
Toulouse extended their lead over Clermont at the Top 14 summit as both enjoyed home wins on Sunday.
With Clermont overcoming Flip van der Merwe's dismissal to defeat Pau 27-14 in the day's opening game, Toulouse responded in style with a 53-21 bonus-point victory over Lyon.
The gap between leaders Toulouse and their nearest rivals is now seven points.
Sofiane Guitoune was the star of the show for Toulouse at the Stade Ernest-Wallon, grabbing a hat-trick in a first half during which a remarkable 60 points were scored.
#TOP14#STLOU | J19— TOP 14 Rugby (@top14rugby) March 17, 2019
Il a porté son équipe vers les sommets en inscrivant un triplé...
Vous avez élu Sofiane Guitoune ( @StadeToulousain ) #HommeduMatch Société Générale #TeamSpiritpic.twitter.com/iI20nhean4
Indeed, for the opening 20 minutes of that first period, fifth-placed Lyon looked set to pose a significant challenge to their hosts.
Converted tries from Xavier Mignot and Noa Nakaitaci had them in front, but it was all downhill from there for the visitors.
Guitoune completed his treble, with Sebastien Bezy, Pita Ahki and Lucas Tauzin also getting in on the act, before a much tamer second half saw Jonathan Wisniewski and Louis-Benoit Madaule exchange tries.
Clermont's win was less dominant, but still impressive in light of Van der Merwe's first-half red card for a dangerous tackle on Lucas Rey.
Fritz Lee and Remy Grosso both touched down, while Morgan Parra contributed three penalties and a conversion.