Lyon and Bordeaux Begles continued their blistering unbeaten starts to the Top 14 season as defending champions Toulouse stumbled again.
Both Lyon and Bordeaux went into Saturday’s fixtures on the back of three straight wins and duly extended their streaks to four in some style.
Full-back Toby Arnold scored three of Lyon’s nine tries in a 59-3 thumping of Brive while Bordeaux put Stade Francais to the sword 52-3.
Toulouse, meanwhile, finished with 14 men in their 28-13 loss at La Rochelle, which made it three defeats from four to start their title defence.
They trailed only 9-6 at the break but Wiaan Liebenberg and Arthur Retiere went over for La Rochelle before Werner Kok’s red card on his Toulouse full debut for striking Jules Favre with his forearm effectively put the match beyond doubt.
Last season’s runners-up Clermont Auvergne were boosted by the presence of Morgan Parra for the first time since May but suffered their second consecutive defeat, losing 37-28 at home to Pau, for whom Colin Slade tallied 20 points.
Promoted Bayonne saw off Castres 27-17 thanks predominantly to the boot of Brandon Fajardo, who kicked four penalties and a conversion for the Basque side.