South African flyhalf Willie du Plessis kicked 12 points as Montpellier beat Toulouse 27-18 in the Top 14 on Sunday, but the defeated 19-time French champions insisted that he should not have even been on the pitch.
The 26-year-old former Lions and Cheetahs utility back signed a short-term deal from Bayonne on Thursday night after Montpellier lost Demetri Catrakilis to an ankle injury and Frans Steyn through suspension.
However, Toulouse believe that Du Plessis was not eligible to play Sunday as he penned his contract only after a registration deadline on Thursday had passed.
It was a dramatic day for Du Plessis who was summoned from the bench after just eight minutes to replace injured centre Vincent Martin.
“It was difficult for Willie du Plessis to come on so early in this type of match,” said Montpellier coach Jake White, a fellow South African.
“But it’s a good thing that he’s with us.”
Montpellier stayed on course for the play-offs with their win, a result which left Toulouse marooned in mid-table.
Springbok brothers Jannie and Bismarck du Plessis were missing for Montpellier after returning home for their father Francois’s funeral.
But their teammates were never in danger, building up a 13-3 lead at the interval thanks to a try from lock forward Paul Willemse on 27 minutes and eight points from the boot of Willie du Plessis.
Fijian winger Timoci Nagusa extended Montpellier’s lead on 43 minutes with an interception try with centre Yvan Reilhac adding a third score 20 minutes later.