ASM Clermont Auvergne recorded their first win for nearly two months at the weekend with a 21-17 victory over fellow European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-finalists La Rochelle in the TOP 14.

Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw continued his excellent form from the Six Nations Championship, scoring 11 points for the 2017 Champions Cup runners-up, while flanker Peceli Yato and lock Arthur Iturria scored tries either side of half-time.

Scrum-half Alexi Balès kicked four penalties for La Rochelle, who haven’t won a match since beating Brive in January. They travel to face Scarlets in their Champions Cup quarter-final on March 30.  

Elsewhere in the TOP 14, full-back Brice Dulin and wing Marc Andreu notched tries for Racing 92 as they defeated Brive 17-13 at home.

The result was bitter-sweet, though, as Dulin went off in the second half with a knee injury and could miss their Champions Cup quarter-final against Clermont on April 1. 

Saracens dropped to third in the Aviva Premiership after a 24-12 defeat against league leaders Exeter Chiefs, who have opened up a seven-point gap at the top of the table. 

Exeter fly-half Joe Simmonds – brother of England international Sam – impressed on his Premiership debut, landing four penalties against a depleted Saracens side. 

Back-row Ben Earl – who was also making his first Premiership start – and hooker Schalk Brits scored tries for the 2017 Champions Cup winners, who travel to face Leinster Rugby in their Champions Cup quarter-final at the Aviva Stadium on April 1.