Top 14 round-up
Last Updated: 25/01/13 10:17pm
Late drop for Perpigan: David Mélé
Perpignan stayed in the race for the Top 14 play-offs thanks to a hard-fought 26-19 win over Clermont on Friday.
The result is only Clermont's fourth loss in all competitions this season and allows Toulon to move seven points clear at the summit of the standings.
But the league leaders didn't have it all their own way on Friday either as they failed to pick up the expected bonus point against lowly Mont-de-Marsan.
In the capital, Stade Français also kept their play-off hopes alive with a big win over Grenoble.
Elsewhere, Montpellier climbed to fourth thanks to their win in Agen while Racing Métro picked up valuable points away from home against Bordeaux-Bègles.
USA Perpignan 26-19 ASM Clermont Auvergne
Stade Aimé Giral, Perpignan
A great result for USAP, who produced one of their best performances if the season to keep their play-off ambitions alive.
Clermont led 12-6 at the end of an intense first half thanks to the boot of Morgan Parra, as they dominated possession but couldn't unlock the Catalan defence.
The second half was a different story however and the hosts took the lead in a barnstorming ten minutes after the break highlighted by a try for lock Romain Taofifenua as the USAP pack rumbled over the line.
Clermont regained the lead around the hour mark when Julien Bardy scored at the back of a rolling maul but the visitors' discipline let them done in the final quarter, allowing James Hook, who finished with 18 points, to kick Perpignan to victory.
SU Agen 9-13 Montpellier Hérault Rugby
Stade Armandie, Agen
Montpellier were made to work very hard, but got the job done and leapfrogged Grenoble and Castres in the standings as a result.
Despite being reduced to 14 men after the sending off of full-back Ben Seymour for taking François Trinh-Duc out in the air in the 20th minute, Agen put up a real fight and only trailed 7-6 at half time.
Montpellier should have put the game to bed in the second half but struggled at scrum time and were regularly penalised while on the attack.
Union Bordeaux-Bègles 15-22 Racing Métro 92
Stade André Moga, Bègles
Racing-Métro keep their hopes of the knock-out rugby alive with an invaluable win on the road despite the absence of suspended leaders Dimitri Szarzewski and Fabrice Estebanez.
Bordeaux-Bègles led 9-6 at half time but conceded 13 unanswered points during the sin binning of captain Mathew Clarkin, with Racing centre Alexandre Dumoulin landing the killer blow just before the hour mark.
A losing bonus point for UBB leaves them level with Agen on the edge of the relegation zone.
Stade Français Paris 36-6 FC Grenoble
Stade Charléty, Paris
A timely bonus-point win for Stade Français, who remain unbeaten at Stade Charléty this term.
Grenoble led 6-0 early on but it was one-way traffic their after as the Parisians scored two tries in each half.
The result sees stade move to within striking distance of the play-off berths, five points behind Grenoble.
Rugby Club Toulonnais 15-9 Stade Montois
Stade Felix Mayol, Toulon
After defeat to Racing in the Top 14 and Montpellier in the Heineken Cup, Toulon needed a good result to steady the ship, but this will not be considered a huge success.
A narrow win against the bottom side in the league - who also coughed up two yellow cards - is not what was expected as RCT flattered to deceive.
Toulon led 15-9 at half time but were unable to trouble the scorers after the break.