Champions Castres hammered away to Clermont Auvergne
Reigning Top 14 holders Castres, who will play Munster in the key December Champions Cup back-to-back clashes, suffered a 41-6 drubbing when the French championship resumed last weekend.
The champions sent a fairly strong side to play leaders Clermont Auvergne - Scott Spedding, David Smith and Rory Kockott were in the backline - but were hammered by five tries to nil.
The victory sees Clermont on top of the table with six wins from eight on 30 points, with Castres now ninth 11 points adrift.
But Castres, who came from the final qualifying spot last season to win the title, are just two points adrift of Lyon in sixth.
The champions have now won four and lost four so far in the defence of their title and will be hoping to get back on track when they host Pau tomorrow.
The English Premiership is taking a break for the autumn internationals with leaders Exeter, whose qualification hopes hang by a thread after their home draw to Munster and loss away to Castres, top with six straight wins. Gloucester, the other team in the pool, are fourth in the table.
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