WARRIORS ace Joe Batley believes the Sixways side’s gutsy performance in their heart-breaking 24-20 European Rugby Challenge Cup defeat in Pau demonstrates the future is bright.
A last minute try from Pau dashed a young Warriors side’s hopes of win which would have matched their victory against Stade Francais in Paris two years ago.
In the end the size and weight of Pau’s juggernaut pack decided a tight and fiercely-contested affair but the youngsters from Sixways – including ten current or recent graduates of the Three Pears Academy in the matchday squad – stood up well under pressure.
Batley, who joined from Bristol during the summer, made his physical presence felt in an industrious display, first at blindside then at lock, and was impressed by the talent around him but disappointed by the result
“I’m really proud of a young bunch of boys which came together. A lot of the lads hadn’t had much game time before that so everyone was hungry to show what they are about,” Batley said.
“We came up against a strong Pau team and we fronted up. It’s just unfortunate the penalties got on top of us at the end but, credit to Pau, they took their chance well.
“We probably left some points out there. There’s a big disappointment in the group but that shows how far we are coming.
“I am pretty excited about what’s to come from this squad. Will Butler, being young himself, leading us out was really good.
Alex Hearle showed what he is about on the wing and which was nice to see and then a few of the young lads came on and did a real good job against a really big pack, so the future definitely looks good for Worcester.
“It will come good. If you look at the stats Pau’s scrum is the best in the Top 14 we had a young set of forwards out there and we fronted up well.
“We creaked a bit towards the end and we will address that in the week. It was probably more about their pick-and-go and they punished us with their tries.
“We are moving forward and moving in the right direction which is the main thing. It will all come good and a lot of the guys are looking forward to getting their next shot now.”
Warriors continue their European Challenge Cup campaign against Ospreys at Sixways on Saturday (December 19) at 8pm.