Clermont gave a timely reminder of their quality with a 65-13 shellacking of Pau in a truncated weekend of French Top 14 play.
Former Counties Manukau No 8 Fritz Lee scored a try and Stephen Brett kicked a conversion, while Benson Stanley was at No 12 for the second-placed club.
Tom Taylor kicked three goals for Pau, while the old Highlanders' front-row of Jamie Mackintosh and Chris King were reunited. Daniel Ramsay was at lock.
La Rochelle extended their lead with a 36-17 victory over Brive. Lock Jason Eaton scored a try in a pack that included Hikairo Forbes and Victor Vito. Former Waikato and Fiji lock Dominiko Waqaniburotu came off the bench for Brive.
Cellar dwellers Bayonne upset Bordeaux-Begles 24-20. Kiwis involved for Bayonne were Kade Poki, Manu Leiataua, Tanerau Latimer and Pelu Taele. Simon Hickey kicked three goals for the opposition, while former Waikato hooker Ole Avei scored a try. Luke Braid, off the bench, Hugh Chalmers and Jayden Spence also played.
There were more difficulties for Ma'a Nonu's Toulon, who could only force a 23-all draw at Grenoble. Replacement wing Tino Nemani scored an important try for the home side, who also fielded Nigel Hunt, Sona Taumalolo and Steven Setephano.
Toulouse - with three Kiwis featuring off the bench, Joe Tekori, Luke McAlister and Census Johnston - beat Lyon 42-26. The latter included Hosea Gear, Josh Bekhuis, Ti'i Paulo and Mike Harris.
Two games were postponed - Montpellier v Racing-Metro and Castres v Stade Francais - due to the Parisian club merger saga.
In the Anglo-Welsh Cup final, Leicester defeated Exeter 16-12 to give Tigers coach Aaron Mauger his first silverware as head coach with the club, and the Tigers' first Anglo-Welsh Cup in five years. The only Kiwi on the field was Leicester No 9 and former Bay of Plenty halfback Jono Kitto.
Full rounds of Aviva Premiership, Guinness PRO12 and French Top 14 resume this weekend after the Six Nations.