Blog Banner

We showed our character to overcome hurdles - Williams

First Team News | 27th September 2021

Lloyd Williams says Cardiff showed their character to overcome the challenges and secure an opening day win over Connacht.

Dai Young’s men kicked off their United Rugby Championship campaign by claiming maximum points in front of the Cardiff Arms Park faithful, but had to deal with a number of hurdles throughout the 80 minutes.

Both outside halves included in the matchday squad - Rhys Priestland and Jarrod Evans - were forced off with injuries in the opening 20 minutes.

The departures forced scrum half Williams to fill in at the number 10 position - almost six years to the day since he inspired Wales to a famous World Cup victory over England as an emergency wing. Fellow scrum half, Tomos Williams, also had to take over the kicking duties, slotting three of his four attempts at goal.

The Wales international was proud to see his side dig deep and produce a team effort to start the season on a high.

“Unfortunately, Rhys and Jarrod both went down with injuries so I had to step in at outside half,” said the three-times Six Nations winner.

“But the moves remain the same and fair play to the likes of Tomos, Willis and Rey for helping me throughout.

“The forwards were excellent as well in the second half and we’re delighted to have secured the win in the end.

“It was the coaches’ call for me to go at 10, but any of the backs can slot in there and maintain the structure.

“The first half was tough, as I was getting used to playing in that position. In the second half, the game started to open up a bit and our hard work started to pay off.

“It’s always good to kick off the season with a win over a side like Connacht. It gives the whole squad a boost.

“We knew we could win, and the squad did very well to deal with the hurdles thrown in our way. 

“There was a lot of character shown by the boys out there to come away with the win.”

The Arms Park welcomed a crowd back for a competitive fixture for the first time in 18 months, treating the terraces to a seven-try thriller.

While Cardiff face a trip to Ospreys this week, Williams was excited to see the Arms Park in full flow once again and was delighted to secure a victory in front of the home crowd.

The scrum half added: “The crowd played a big part throughout, and it was great to see them back on the terraces.

“It’s something the players are happy to see and hopefully we gave them an evening to enjoy.

“That’s what’s important at the end of the day. Hopefully they enjoyed the occasion and enjoyed the fact that we won.

“The Ospreys will be a different challenge next week, but one we’re all looking forward to as a squad.

“We can celebrate and enjoy an opening win over Connacht but by Monday all the focus will be on Ospreys.”