Brive needed a late try to Yves Donguy against bottom club Auch to hold on to third place, and leave Auch still looking for their first win of the season. Castres are fourth, with last season's Heineken Cup runners-up Toulouse poised in fifth place after a thrilling 23-22 win over Biarritz, despite three tries to Biarritz winger Jimmy Marlu.
Towards the bottom, Clermont Auvergne - formerly known as Montferrand - are struggling in 14th place. New signing Stephen Jones kicked five penalty goals but his side fell to Narbonne 15-16. Beziers and Auch bring up the rear.