South African Rugby World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe scored in his first game since mid-October as Toulouse hammered bottom side Agen 63-18 on Saturday (November 28) in the French Top 14.
Kolbe came off the bench just before the hour after recovering from a hip injury suffered six week ago to lift the record 20-time champions to second with the bonus point win at Stade Ernest Wallon.
Before all the matches, clubs paid their respects to former France winger Christophe Dominici who was found dead earlier this week aged just 48.
Kolbe was joined in the side by French internationals Thomas Ramos and Cyril Baille after the pair had featured in the maximum of three team sheets for les Bleus this autumn but scrum-half Antoine Dupont was rested.
Regis Sonnes took charge of the winless visitors for the first time and brought JJ Taulagi back after the Samoa centre was reportedly suspended for a poor display in the 71-5 loss at Bordeaux-Begles which cost Sonnes’ predecessor, Christophe Laussucq, his job.
The hosts crossed on eight occasions including an effort from Kolbe’s Boks team-mate Rynhardt Elstadt before the former Stormers three-quarter crossed in the final minutes.
– Etzebeth on song –
Elsewhere, 10-time Springbok Dillyn Leyds dotted down as La Rochelle remained top with a 36-22 victory over Brive.
Ex-All Blacks sevens winger Ben Lam crossed with three minutes to play and Maxime Lucu kicked the conversion as Bordeaux-Begles edged Montpellier 23-22.
Kolbe’s fellow Rugby World Cup winner Eben Etzebeth scored his second try in seven days as Toulon, one of Dominici’s former sides, beat Pau 18-33.
On Sunday, Racing 92 welcome back Test trio Virimi Vakatawa, Camille Chat and Bernard Le Roux as they host an under-strength Bayonne before Stade Francais, where Dominici won five league titles, head to Lyon.
On Friday, Japan’s Kotaro Matsushima took his try account to three for the season in Clermont’s 40-14 thumping at Castres.
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