Will Genia’s Stade Francais is keeping itself out of the relegation zone, after a 17-11 win over Toulon on Monday morning.
In their first match back after a strike over a potential merger, Stade edged out their powerhouse rivals, putting them 11 points above bottom two sides Grenoble and Bayonne, who will have to play in a relegation playoff, at the end of the regular season.
Genia played 72 minutes of the win, replaced by Julien Dupuy with eight minutes to go.
While James O’Connor was named in the wider Toulon squad to travel to Paris, the utility back did not make the matchday 23, with Drew Mitchell starting at fullback.
Ben Barba started at inside centre, with former All Blacks enforcer Ma’a Nonu on the bench for Toulon, replacing the NRL premiership player 50 minutes in.
Liam Gill played the full game at openside flanker for Toulon, who remain in fourth place despite the loss.
Lock Sitaleki Timani played 64 minutes of Clermont’s 27-24 loss to Racing Metro, with a 75th minute try to Alivereti Raka not quite enough for the southerners to clinch a win.
Aussie Brock James steered La Rochelle to another win, scoring 18 points in their 23-13 victory over Pau, securing their spot in the Top 14 playoffs
Mike Harris played 12 minutes of Lyon’s big 52-7 win over Bayonne, replacing Hemani Paea in the victory.
Nic White played out the final 17 minutes of Montpellier’s 28-25 loss to Brive, while Joe Tomane played the full 80 minutes.
Adam Ashley-Cooper and Luke Jones played out the entire match for Bordeaux, as they beat Toulouse 20-11, putting them just three points behind sixth-place Pau with four rounds to go.
James Horwill played his first match in six weeks, playing 64 minutes in a 53-17 drubbing of Newcastle.
A 69th-minute Lochie McCaffrey try helped Leicester to a 36-31 win over Northampton, putting them in fourth spot.
Kurtley Beale played the entire match for Wasps at fullback, in a 40-33 win over Worcester.
Ben Tapuai played 80 minutes for Bath at inside centre, as they suffered a 53-10 loss to defending champions Saracens.