Europe’s richest rugby club Toulon suffered a beating in the final league stages of the European Cup.
But the French Top 14 leaders and one of the form teams in this season’s European Cup still qualified for the quarter-finals.
Toulon, away to Montpellier, started with 10 current and past internationals, and included on the substitute’s bench were former All Blacks tighthead Carl Hayman, former Bok loose forward Joe van Niekerk and the excellent Pumas loose forward Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe.
Toulon’s Jonny Wilkinson kicked a fourth-minute penalty to give the visitors a 3-0 lead but Montpellier scored the first of two tries after eight minutes and closed out the game 23-3 winners.
Ireland’s Leinster came from behind to win against Exeter and Clermont hammered the Scarlets 29-0.
European Cup results:
Castres 8 Ulster 9
Glasgow 27 Northampton Saints 20
Cardiff Blues 26 Sale Sharks 14
Montpellier 23 Toulon 3
Exeter Chiefs 20 Leinster 29
Scarlets 0 Clermont Auvergne 29
European Shield results:
Cavalieri Prato 0 Grenoble 47
Mogliano 0 Bayonne 54
Bath Rugby 53 Bucureti 8
Gloucester Rugby 36 Mont-de-Marsan 16
London Irish 17 Bordeaux Begles 7
Worcester Warriors 71 Bizkaia Gernika 19