Thursday, August 18, 2011
One of the more memorable - and most requested - moments of the Wales vs England game in Cardiff this weekend was this excellent try saving tackle in what should have been a sure thing for England.
Matt Banahan got shifted onto the wing in place of ace finisher Chris Ashton, who possibly would have done a better job of scoring the try. In fairness to Banahan though, and not to take anything away from courageous Shane, the pass from Mike Tindall was a bit loopy (despite what Stuart Barnes says).
Banahan was also a bit flat, so all in all it was a chance that England should have taken.
Williams however, at 5ft 7 and up against 6ft 7 Banahan, had other ideas, as he used the big guy's weight brilliantly, pulling him down and with James Hook nearby, Wales managed to not only prevent the try, but affect the turnover.
It's difficult to judge whether it was more a case of bad finishing, or brilliant tackling. I suppose we'll just go with both, and give the credit to Williams, who throughout his career has had to deal with being one of the smallest guys on the park, yet will no doubt go down as a Welsh legend.
Williams, now 34, will be retiring after the world cup, so is fired up to have a great final tournament. He remains humble though, citing the other talent in the squad as a reason for him having to work extra hard to be a first choice player.
"You know one slip-up, or if the guy in your position has a great game and hits a bit of form, you could be sitting back home when the World Cup is going on in New Zealand," he said recently.
"There are no sure things these days, and that is great because it ensures there is no complacency with guys just assuming they are going to get picked. There are a lot of youngsters who are really impressing in training and have had great seasons with their regions. That's great for Welsh rugby and keeps everyone on their toes," he added.
Who would be your first choice wingers for Wales for the RWC, and England for that matter?