Toulouse hand Castres 35-6 rout
Toulouse's French scrumy-half Jean-Marc Doussain scores a try during the match between Toulouse and Castres in Toulouse, France, on August 22, 2014 - by Pascal Pavani
Gael Fickou, Jean-Marc Doussain, Maxime Medard and Sebastien Bezy all scored tries on a night when they played the last 15 minutes with 14 men after replacement full-back Thomas Ramos was red-carded for violent play after only being on the field for under two minutes.
Toulouse backs coach Jean-Baptiste Elissalde said the two wins were the perfect start for a club which missed the play-offs last season for the first time in 21 years.
"If the guys make the most of their potential, I hope it will be a less perilous season than last time," he said.
Castres manager Matthias Rolland refused to panic despite back-to-back defeats.
"We have to stay united, it's a long championship and we know that we have to rebound. We must remain confident and not get into a negative spiral," he said.
Toulouse made nine changes to the side that edged a 20-19 win over Oyonnax last weekend with Florian Fritz, Medard, Gilian Galan and former All Blacks prop Corey Flynn all starting.
Flynn, who spent 13 years at the Crusaders, was making his debut having only arrived in France last Sunday.
Castres had eight changes from their 25-22 loss to Stade Francais -- the most notable being the return of half-back pairing, skipper Remi Tales and Rory Kockott.
English fly-half Toby Flood, who scored all of his team's points on his debut last weekend, kicked Toulouse ahead before Kockott levelled.
Both men missed two more penalties each before Toulouse grabbed the first try on the 22-minute mark with French international centre Fickou creating and scoring the try.
Fickou bounced off a poor challenge from Max Evans and exchanged passes with winger Yoann Huget before powering over for the score.
Flood converted for 10-3 but Kockott kept Castres in touch with his second penalty of the night.
Huget went over for what he thought was Toulouse's second try but play was called back after the winger had been penalised for a knock on.
Flood knocked over another penalty on the stroke of half-time for 13-6.
Toulouse then tightened their grip on the match with two tries in four minutes early in the second period.
Firstly, they won quick turnover ball on the halfway line. A clever line-out then allowed Fritz to feed Medard who in turn released scrum-half Doussain for the try.
Flood kicked the extras for 20-6 which quickly became 25-6 with Doussain turning provider with a clever chip ahead into the hands of Medard, tight on the touchline, for the try.
Flood went wide with the conversion but made amends quickly with another penalty for a convincing 28-6 advantage.
Ramos came on to replace Clement Poitrenaud in the 65th minute but was soon heading off again for punching and appearing to kick out at Castres prop Mihai Lazar.
Castres No8 Johnnie Beattie had a try chalked off for obstruction before Toulouse grabbed their fourth try of the night thanks to replacement scrum-half Bezy.
Defending champions Toulon, convincing 29-15 victors over Bayonne last week, entertain newly-promoted La Rochelle on Saturday.
Elsewhere, Brive host Clermont, Grenoble travel to Montpellier, Bordeaux-Begles entertain Racing-Metro and fellow Paris team Stade Francais welcome newcomers Lyon.