Siya Kolisi’s Racing 92 hammered promoted Oyonnax 66-10 on Saturday to move six points clear at the summit of the French Top 14.
Kolisi, South Africa’s double World Cup-winning captain, played the whole game as the Parisian club won their first game in three matches in all competitions, which has included two defeats in the Champions Cup.
Racing led 14-3 at half-time as scrum-half Nolann Le Garrec crossed twice following an early penalty by Oyonnax’s Argentina fly-half Domingo Miotti.
Racing, the six-time French champions, ran away with things after the break as Le Garrec scored his third touchdown, for his first career hat-trick.
Tries from lock Fabien Sanconnie, former Oyonnax prop Thomas Laclayat, back-rower Maxime Baudonne with two, winger Christian Wade and centre Olivier Klemenczak completed the rout.
Le Garrec’s performance furthered calls for the 21-year-old’s inclusion in France’s Six Nations squad, to be named next month, with first-choice scrum-half and captain Antoine Dupont missing due to his commitments before the Paris Olympics and Baptiste Serin injured.
Elsewhere, bottom side Montpellier claimed their first league win since August 20 and the opening round of the season as the beat Castres 30-21.
Later, Ronan O’Gara’s struggling La Rochelle head to Stade Francais looking to bounce back after also recording two Champions Cup losses and France skipper Dupont leads Toulouse against Toulon in front of a sold-out Le Stadium.
Former New Zealand lock Sam Whitelock remains sidelined with concussion for Pau as this season’s surprise packages host Clermont.
On Friday, Congolese winger Madosh Tambwe crossed for his second try of the campaign to send Bordeaux-Begles to second in the standings thanks to a 46-10 win over Lyon.