Monday, June 04, 2012

Wales beat the Barbarians as Shane & Martyn Williams bid farewell

Shane and Martyn Williams said farewell to international rugby on Saturday as Wales beat the Barbarians 30-21 in Cardiff. Both players confirmed that they've now retired, while Shane predicted that Wales will do well in Australia.

Wales fielded an understrength side and started well, but fell behind after the experience of the Barbarians XV showed. A good display by some debutants and a solid kicking performance by James Hook ultimately proved the difference.

Winger Williams was playing his final game, although there has been talk of another exhibition game, and considering he still looks in great shape, you never know what he might have had planned. He confirmed that that's it though, as he said goodbye to his loyal supporters.

"That was my final game, and what a great place to have had it. It was a fantastic occasion, and I’ve had a great time. The Millennium Stadium was where it all started for me – and where it has all ended," he said.

"It was very strange playing against Wales, but it was no holds barred on the pitch. The boys are competitive – that’s why they play rugby – and everyone is out there to win. But I went over and had a chat after the game and wished them all the best for the tour."

He believes that Wales will claim a scalp or two in Australia, despite having not beaten the Wallabies in Australia in 43 years. They play a three test series, starting on Saturday in Brisbane.

"It's going to be tough. It is a big ask to win the series against Australia - one of the best sides in the world - on their home turf, but I think that is where we need to get to now. We've won the Grand Slam and we need keep going on an upward curve.

"I do see Wales winning a Test out there - whether or not they win the series I don't know - but they have certainly got a good enough squad," Williams added. 

Below are highlights of the game, including the tries and some of the more memorable moments

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