Fly-half George Ford, back on club duty following England’s run to the World Cup final in Japan, kicked an early penalty before George Worth went over in the 13th minute and Holmes quickly added a second try.
Pau scrum-half Thibault Daubagna crossed from close range before Holmes made the most of an offload from Ford to break down the right as the home side went into half-time 24-13 ahead.
Holmes completed his hat-trick five minutes into the second half, but Pau lock Fabric Metz bundled over a converted try on 66 minutes to bring the score to 31-20. A fourth converted try for Holmes made sure there would be no comeback, Ford finishing with five successful kicks.
Saturday’s other Pool 5 game saw Cardiff Blues run out 38-16 winners at Calvisano to secure a bonus point. Full-back Matthew Morgan collected his own chip behind the home defence to open the scoring after five minutes. The Italians, though, fought back after a penalty and a converted try from Giacomo De Santis.
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Seb Davies’ try saw Cardiff in front 17-10 at the break. Two penalties from Paolo Pescetto brought the hosts back into contention, but tries from James Botham, Rey Lee-Lo and Harri Millard’s late score wrapped things up.
The Blues, who lifted the trophy in 2018, host Leicester at the Arms Park in their next European fixture. Elsewhere in Pool 4, Premiership leaders Bristol ran in eight tries to thrash Zebre 59-21, with fly-half Ioan Lloyd chalking up 22 points on his first start.
Leicester are definitely a club in need of a break following another miserable start to a campaign https://t.co/FkJVKdBU5K
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 15, 2019
The Bears fell behind early on to a converted try from Mattia Bellini, but then never looked back, adding five of their own before the break. Academy duo Charlie Powell and Andy Uren were also among the try-scorers late on.
WATCH: Part one of The Academy, the RugbyPass documentary series on the Leicester Tigers’ youths system
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