Warriors went back to the top of Pool Two of the European Challenge Cup with a win which warmed the Sixways crowd on a miserable winter afternoon.
The win – Warriors fifth in a row at Sixways in all competitions – avenged defeat in Pau last week and left Warriors well placed to push for a quarter-final match when they complete their pool programme next month.
The match was blighted by heavy rain and numbing cold but Warriors still managed to play some entertaining rugby before the already foul conditions deteriorated and made handling exceptionally difficult in the second half.
With Michael Fatialofa a dominant force in the lineouts Warriors countered Pau’s pack, which had been so dominant in France, and allowed Duncan Weir to control the game from fly-half.
Weir’s accurate kicking also helped Warriors recover from conceding an early try scored by Pau openside Ben Mowen to establish a 13 points lead by half-time.
Pau, who scored a second minute try last week, were again on the scoreboard early when a sustained attack set up Mowen for his try which Colin Slade converted.
But Warriors were back on terms within two minutes. Bryce Heem began a counter-attck after Pau hoofed the restart kick upfield and Josh Adams finished superbly, aquaplaning over for a try that Weir converted.
Warriors went ahead four minutes later after Adams again probed at the defence and Alafoti Faosiliva used his pace and power to finish with a try under the posts.
Weir tacked on the extras but Faosiliva suffered a knee injury as he went over and he hobbled off to be replaced by Carl Kirwan who made his first senior appearance in two years as a replacement much earlier in the match than anticipated.
Warriors continued to dominate the first half but handling errors meant that they had to settle for two penalties from Weir to extend their lead.
Weir struck again five minutes into the second half after Pau went off side under pressure which proved to be the final score of the match.
Warriors found it increasingly difficult to kick their way out of trouble into a strong downfield wind which meant they had had few attacking opportunities thereafter.
But Warriors’ defence stood up well under pressure from Pau’s big pack, who battered away with no further reward, to secure an important win ahead of Friday’s return to Gallagher Premiership action against Northampton Saints at Sixways (kick-off 7.45pm) .
Warriors 15 Scott van Breda (Humphreys 79), 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Francois Venter (Lawrence 79), 12 Ryan Mills (C), 11 Josh Adams, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Jonny Arr, 1 Callum Black (Waller 51), 2 Jack Singleton (Miller 74), 3 Nick Schonert (Milasinovich 51), 4 Anton Bresler, 5 Michael Fatialofa (Phillips 51), 6 Ted Hill, 7 Marco Mama, 8 Alafoti Faosiliva (Kirwan 17).
Replacements. 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Gareth Milasinovich, 19 Pierce Phillips, 20 Carl Kirwan, 21 Michael Heaney, 22 Ollie Lawrence, 23 Perry Humphreys.
7m | Mowen try 0-5
8m | Slade con 0-7
10m | Adams try 5-7
11m | Weir con 7-7
16m | Faosiliva try 12-7
17m | Weir con 14-7
25m | Weir pen 17-7
40m | Weir pen 20-7
45m | Weir pen 23-7