PARIS (AFP) –
Toulon made it five wins in five French Top 14 outings this season with a 32-25 victory over a battling Montpellier side who scored all of their points in the second half.
Toulon were in complete control at the interval, leading 16-0 thanks to a 34th-minute try from flanker Pierrick Gunther, well-served by Kiwi winger David Smith, in the 34th minute with recalled fly-half Frederic Michalak kicking 11 points.
But Montpellier rallied after the break when South African hooker Rassie van Vuuren scrambled over for back-to-back tries in the 49th and 55th minutes.
That cut the deficit to 22-12 before Toulon then stretched out to 32-15 thanks to a try from replacement back-row forward Joe van Niekerk in the 67th minute.
Michalak, getting a rare start in the absence of the resting Jonny Wilkinson, converted as he finished the match with 22 points.
The impressive Francois Trinh-Duc added Montpellier’s third try with three minutes left.