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Williams revels in Blues recovery

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Saturday, June 25, 2011    Sportal.co.nz    Getty Images

Having been out of action during the two previous campaigns as a result of twice rupturing an Achilles tendon, Williams had worked his way back into the top flight with an improving Blues side. In recent weeks his level of performance has soared and he has been a key part of the Blues' recovery.

Pinned by the Waratahs during the first quarter, the Blues had been forced to re-think their strategy and Williams said that came down to the pragmatism required to succeed.

"It was a real team effort to start with. In the first 20-25 [minutes] they had it all over us and we had to come back, recoup and decide what we were going to do with ourselves and we did that. The key was holding possession," he said.

The Blues sides of recent seasons would not have been able to come back, but Williams said this year's combination had realised that there needed to be a 'willingness to win ugly'.

"It's the ability to grind out wins and that was what your saw out there tonight – the guys were prepared to do some hard work, not pretty, just get the job done, get some points and accumulate some pressure and then go from there," he said.

Williams was low-key about his try which put the game beyond the Waratahs.

"It was a tired guy hanging out on the wing, came in on an inside ball and fell over it [the goal-line]," he said.

Williams put his celebrations down to the length of time since he had scored a try.


"I think we showed in the second half that if we do that we are a force to be reckoned with," he said.

Williams, who demonstrated some of the subtle touches that marked the earlier heights of his career with a willingness to run with the ball, to put in subtle 'tactical' kicks and dominating lineouts, said he felt like he was 'getting there'.

"There's still a long way to go. I just love playing rugby, I love it.

"I love the times when you are down in the dumps and everyone writes you off. I love the times when you just grind out a crappy win, I love the times when running the ball everywhere so I just love being part of a team and watching a team succeed and watching a team work toward what they've strived for for a long time," he said.

The side would have to go to another level in next weekend's semi-final but the need to grind out victory would not change, because that was the basis of finals football, he said.

"That's all we need to do and that is what we are prepared to do."