Marius Joubert scored as Clermont stunned Toulouse in French Top 14 action.
Former Springbok centre Joubert has in the last month become a permanent fixture in Clermont’s starting XV, but Bok captain John Smit still has to be content to play a supporting role to Pumas hooker Mario Ledesma. Smit, for this top of the table clash, started among the reserves.
Clermont won 21-17 to end the unbeaten league run of Toulouse and the win could have been more decisive but for Brock James missing three kicks.
Joubert scored one of two tries for the victors, while another former Bok, Gaffie du Toit, kicked two conversions and a penalty for Toulouse. Du Toit started at flyhalf as Toulouse continue to search for a replacement for Frederic Michalak, who will play for the Sharks in the 2008 Super 14.
In English Premiership action Butch James’s fantastic start to his Bath career continues. The Bok flyhalf played a starring role in Bath’s 41-10 demolition of Leeds. James and former Cheetahs halfback Michael Claassens started as the No 9/10 combination and Claassens scored one of Bath’s five tries. England utility back Olly Barkley did the goalkicking and converted all five tries and added two penalties.
Former Stormers duo Neil de Kock and Brent Russell enjoyed strong matches in Saracens 27-20 win against Harlequins. De Kock, who scored an early try, again won praise for his leadership.
*Standings and league points after five rounds of the French Top 14
1. Toulouse 19
2. Clermont 17
3. Montpellier 16
4. Montauban 15
5. Bayonne 15
6. Biarritz 14
7. Stade FranÃ§ais 13
8. Bourgoin 11
9. Castres 9
10. Perpignan 8
11. Albi 8
12. Brive 7
13. Auch 6
14. Dax 6