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Williams applauds defensive grit following crucial victory over Connacht

28th January 2019

Lloyd Williams has applauded Cardiff Blues' defensive grit after Saturday's crucial Guinness PRO14 victory over Connacht.

Wales’ Capital Region clinched a narrow 8-7 victory in abysmal conditions at the Arms Park to move within two points of the Irish province and Ospreys in Conference A.

The scrum half admits the weather conditions made it tough for his side but was proud to clinch a momentous result at the Welsh capital.

“We’re thoroughly pleased because we’d spoken about the importance of the match throughout the week,” said Williams.

“We knew it would be tight as it always is against Connacht. They’re a good team and we certainly would’ve taken a one-point win before the match, and it’s good we came away with that.

“We were playing with the wind during the first half, so we knew that we wanted to come in at half time knowing we had made the most of it. 

“We probably would’ve liked to have come away with more points in that opening 40, but our defence performed really well and we managed to come away with the win because of that.

“As a scrum half, those conditions can be really tough because you’re playing two completely different games in either half.

“When you’re playing with the wind, it’s easier and you can get away with your kicking game not quite being on the money. 

“In games like that, the toss usually does decide the result and we were up against it in the second half, but fair play the defence played its part tonight.

“This season, we’ve had to defend for long spells, and probably a bit more than we have over previous seasons.

“But we’ve also shown that we’re a top defensive team with a lot of players who are comfortable in defence and getting over the ball. Hats off to the pack because they did really well against Connacht.”

Williams played a key role in the victory, setting up Owen Lane for a sensational score, which proved to be decisive for the hosts.

The 28-times capped Welsh international is confident with his side’s position, as the race for Heineken Champions Cup qualification heats up.

Williams said: “It was a great finish from Owen and I’m glad we crossed. In games like that, when the weather is like that, it does usually come down to one try and that swung the score for us.

“Looking at the rest of the season, we feel confident that we can go on and win the rest of our games, but only if we play well.

“In this league, you have to give yourself the best chance of winning by performing well every week.

“We were a bit inconsistent with our performances at the start of the season, and that’s why some of the early results didn’t go our way, but we’re in a good place now and we can kick on from here.”