Top 14

Clermont defeat opens door for La Rochelle, Barba debuts in Toulon loss

La Rochelle will have the chance to open up a gap at the Top 14 summit when they visit Toulouse on Sunday, after leaders Clermont Auvergne went down 26-16 to Castres.

Anthony Jelonch's 68th-minute try proved decisive at Stade Pierre-Antoine, with impressive replacement Benjamin Urdapilleta converting and then adding a late drop-goal.

Clermont's failure to claim even a losing bonus point means they remain level on points with La Rochelle at the top of the table.

Ben Barba made his rugby union debut in a losing cause as Toulon were beaten 15-5 at Brive.

However, the former Cronulla Sharks full-back could hardly be blamed for Toulon's defeat, given he only entered the fray with four minutes remaining, shortly after Bryan Habana had scored a consolation try.

Thomas Laranjeira landed four penalties for Brive, after Gaetan Germain's three-pointer had opened the scoring.

The two sides at the foot of the table each claimed notable results on Saturday.

Bayonne claimed a 25-25 draw against a Pau side that had won their previous five matches, both sides managing a converted try and six penalties apiece.

Grenoble went one better, capitalising on the fifth-minute sending-off of Chris Masoe to beat Racing 92 19-10. Masoe was dismissed for a dangerous tackle on Arnaud Heguy.