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Williams eyes shot at redemption

8th September 2017

Lloyd Williams insists tonight's visit to RDS Arena to take on Leinster is the perfect opportunity for Cardiff Blues to set the record straight following last week's defeat to Edinburgh.

While the Scottish capital side ran out 20-10 winners in the Guinness PRO14 opener at Cardiff Arms Park last week, Leo Cullen’s side secured a convincing away victory over the Dragons.

Williams also revealed the intensity of this week’s training sessions had gone up a gear and insists the trip to the Irish capital is an opportunity for the squad to redeem themselves.

“It’s what we need. They are one of the best teams in the league. It’s a great game to bounce back in,” said Williams.

“We have spoken about it in the week. It was a bit of a reality check and the sessions have been very physical this week.

“We let ourselves down against Edinburgh and we need to react. We have got to front up and put right a few things we weren’t good at on the weekend

“We owe it to ourselves and we owe it to our supporters.

“Sometimes you have to put your hand up and say we weren’t at the races and why was that and put it right.

“If no-one does that we are not going to get anywhere.

“It’s been a step in the right direction this week as we’ve had people saying it wasn’t good enough.

“Ultimately, as individuals, you have got to turn up at the games. If you can’t get up for your first home game there’s something wrong.”

Williams will link-up with Steven Shingler at the RDS Arena, where they will come up against Luke McGrath and Ross Byrne in the battle of the half backs.

The clash against Leinster sees Danny Wilson’s side travel for the first of three away fixture in Ireland over the next four weeks.

Williams believes his side must return to the mentality shown in the pre-season victory over Aviva Premiership champions, Exeter Chiefs, as they prepare for a typically tough challenge against one of the best sides in Europe.

“Exeter was brilliant and we felt like we had got confidence from that one,” said the 28-times capped international.

“It almost felt like an anti-climax what happened at the weekend.

“I think there was a bit of fear factor with Exeter. Playing the English champions, you are thinking if you don’t turn up you are going to be embarrassed. So you have got 23 boys really trying.

“Against Edinburgh, maybe we were a bit complacent. We didn’t turn up and we didn’t have that fear factor that we should have for every team in the league.

“We can’t afford to do that as players and it’s not really fair on the fans either and our family and people who are watching that we can’t put a performance in.

“It was a chance to get the season off to a flyer, but we really let ourselves down.

“We should never have delivered that performance at home first game of the season.
“They knew if we get quick ball we are a dangerous team. That’s what we thrive on, a quick tempo high speed game.

“To be fair, they executed their game plan very well and took all the momentum out of us and we couldn’t get up and running.

“We have spoken about this and said if we were playing against Cardiff Blues we’d just try and take the sting out of them and slow everything down.

“We have got to work round it and have a Plan B. We struggled to go to Plan B on the weekend.

“They seemed to win all the 50/50s. If you can’t win those and they are beating you around the park you can’t expect to win.”