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Minor details had a huge influence in derby says Williams

29th October 2017

Lloyd Williams believes the game's minor details proved the difference in last night's derby in Llanelli, as Cardiff Blues suffered a 30-17 loss to Scarlets.

The scrum half crossed for a second half try at Parc y Scarlets, having come off the bench to make his 150th appearance for the region, as the Blues looked to mount a stunning comeback.

However, the home side would reply immediately through a Jonathan Evans try, before Steffan Evans would secure the bonus point for the defending Guinness PRO14 champions in the latter stages of the game.

Blaine Scully, Dillon Lewis and Jarrod Evans were all forced off in the opening 20 minutes of the game, and Williams believes the early changes made it difficult for his side.

“At the end of the day, I don’t think we were physical enough, and fair play to the Scarlets, they kept crossing the gainline in both halves,” said Williams.

“Once we came back into the game, we lost the kick off, and they scored immediately, which killed the game for us. We were back trying to attack and get back into the game.

“They won a lot of the small battles throughout the day - the loose balls, balls in the air and the gainlines. Those minor details have a huge influence on the game.

“They also slowed our ball down a lot and we’re a team that like to play with tempo. It became almost impossible to attack in the way we wanted to.

“You can’t prepare for the rate of injuries we suffered in the game. It’s never nice to see someone forced off the pitch, as we’ve all worked hard in the build up towards the game as a group.

“I thought the replacements did well off the bench, and it’s always difficult when you come on earlier than expected, and hopefully the boys that were forced off will recover as soon as possible.

“Every try counts, and you get the same amount of points for those as you would by running in from 50m. McNicholl had the ball and tried to run from deep, so we put pressure on him and I managed to rip the ball and cross for a try.

“It was a pleasing try at the time because we were right back in the game, but two minutes later we were back under our own posts, so that’s something we need to look at because it’s something that’s happened too often.

“I’m pleased to have reached the 150 caps for the region, but maybe would’ve liked to have won a bit more during those games.”

Next up for the Blues is a return to Cardiff Arms Park, where they host Zebre, who sit two points ahead of Wilson’s side in Conference A.

Williams is aware of the challenges facing his side next week, and he’s been impressed by the way the Italian sides have improved this season.

Williams said: “We haven’t looked at Zebre yet, as we’ve been concentrating on the derby, but everyone has noticed how the Italian sides have really stepped up this season.

“Treviso almost came away with a win against Toulon last week and it shows they’re serious about improving and climbing the table.

“Next week is huge for us. After that, there is a break for the Anglo Welsh Cup so we need to put pressure on ourselves to finish this block of games with a win.”