WORCESTER Warriors suffered another away defeat, this time in the European Challenge Cup on Saturday evening, as a last-minute try from French side Pau secured a narrow 24-20 win.

There were many changes but a lot of individuals stood out.

Warriors have a second European game this weekend with Welsh side Ospreys before that huge game with Northampton Saints in the league on Boxing Day.

Worcester played well for 90% of the game at the weekend and unlike the three league games so far, they showed a clinical edge that has been missing.

Shillcock missed one penalty in the first minute but otherwise was accurate from the tee and Simpson took his try well.

They looked dangerous, as they have in the main this campaign, and if Ed Fidow had had some support when intercepting in the second-half, they could well have won the game there and then.

Morgan Monks and Fidow were two players that caught my eye in particular.

Monks has not played a lot of first-team rugby but looked comfortable and assured at number eight, carrying extremely well and massively fronting up to the massive Pau pack.

Defensively he did not shy away from the tackle and generally looked commanding, even when the scrum was under pressure.

Fidow's career at Worcester has been a struggle to date due to injuries and the form of the likes of Tom Howe and Nick David but he has 10 tries in 12 Samoan caps, 25 tries in 46 games for Samoa's sevens team and featured in all of their group games at last year's Rugby World Cup.

He showed a physical edge on the wing on Saturday and was solid in defence as well as looking lively with ball in hand.

Pau found him difficult to deal with in close quarters and he's no slouch even if he is not as quick as the other wide-men in the squad.

Simpson impressed at scrum-half and players such as Beck Cutting and Will Butler showed what they can provide.

The scrums were a struggle and it was a tough evening for the front-row but I thought Marc Thomas was good on his debut for the club and was another who rolled his sleeves up and took it to the French side.

Sam Lewis' return was key and Warriors have missed his ability to win turnovers at the breakdown and his fitness around the park and you would expect him to be back in for Northampton.

Some of those first-team players are being pushed as there are individuals who are knocking on the door.

Player ratings:

15. Chris Pennell - 7, 14. Alex Hearle - 5.5, 13. Will Butler - 7, 12. Ashley Beck - 6, 11. Ed Fidow - 7.5, 10. Jamie Shillcock - 6.5, 9. Gareth Simpson - 7; 1. Marc Thomas - 7, 2. Beck Cutting - 7, 3. Conor Carey - 6, 4. George Merrick - 6.5, 5. Justin Clegg - 6, 6. Joe Batley - 6, 7. Sam Lewis - 7, 8. Morgan Monks - 7.5

Replacements: 16. Isaac Miller - 5, 17. Kai Owen - 5, 18. Kieran Verden - 5, 19. James Scott - not used, 20. Caleb Montgomery - 4, 21. Matti Williams - 6, 22. Jono Kitto - 5, 23. Scott van Breda - 5