Stade Francais moved up to second in the French Top 14 with an ultimately commanding 21-6 win over Grenoble on Friday.
Stade maintained their watertight record this season at their Jean-Bouin ground to move to within one point of leaders Clermont, who were to host Biarritz yesterday.
Gonzalo Quesada’s side, runaway 23-0 winners over European champions Toulon before the break for European Cup action, reduced Grenoble to bit-part players, the visitors only managing a brace of penalties from scrum-half James Hart.
However, Stade only led 8-3 at the break thanks to a try in the corner from Geoffrey Doumayrou on 25 minutes.
The Parisian outfit had to wait until the 69th minute for their second try from South African fly-half Meyer Bosman, with his compatriot Morne Steyn converting.
South Africa fly-half Steyn added three penalties in a game in which Stade fluffed a number of eye-catching scoring opportunities.
“Mission accomplished,” Quesada said. “We missed a few chances at the end. We knew Grenoble would be tough to beat, so we’re satisfied to have had control of the ball, but we’re a little disappointed not to have taken the bonus point.”
SALE SHARKS 15, LONDON IRISH 3
In the English Premiership on Friday, Danny Cipriani was on top form as Sale Sharks cruised to a win over London Irish.
Out of favor with England, Cipriani created the opening try and booted a conversion and a penalty in difficult conditions.
Cipriani’s heroics gave Sale their fifth league win of the season and condemned London Irish to their eighth defeat of the campaign.
With the wind at their backs, Sale took a 12-0 advantage into the interval thanks to tries from Tom Brady and Dave Seymour.
Cipriani converted the first of those scores and added a penalty in the second half as the Sharks dominated.
Ian Humphreys kicked a penalty for Irish late on, but it proved to be their only points of the evening as the Sharks eased to victory.