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Williams praises Cardiff Blues' defensive steel following Cheetahs win

12th February 2018

Lloyd Williams has praised Cardiff Blues' defensive steel in the closing stages of Saturday's 25-20 victory over Toyota Cheetahs.

Danny Wilson’s side picked up a crucial Guinness PRO14 win over the South African outfit, who sit one place above the Blues in Conference A, and the four points could prove to be vital in the hunt for Champions Cup qualification.

Wales’ Capital Region had to survive a late onslaught from the visitors, who went through a number of phases deep inside the Blues’ 22, before defensive pressure eventually forced a knock-on in midfield to bring the game to an end.

Williams believes his side showed character to bounce back from an early 10-point deficit, and he insists the win will give the Blues a confidence boost ahead of an important block of games.

“The boys who were on for the last 10 minutes put a really good shift in defensively, and managed to defend the drives, which was great and gave us a lot of confidence,” said Williams.

“It was a bit nerve-wrecking in the final five minutes, and we find ourselves in that situation too often, but if we come away with the wins more often than not we can be pleased.

“The boys were very chuffed in the changing rooms and we really had to dig in deep during that last 10 minutes.

“It was a big game for us, and Cheetahs are above us in the table for a reason, and we knew they would be a tough team to beat, which it proved to be.

"Lyon was the same where we had a slow start but clawed our way back into it. It’s not ideal, and might be something we need to look into, but we came back into the game and the ascendancy was with us. 

"We got into their 22 a lot, and probably could’ve come away with more points and tries, but fair play to Cheetahs, they held us out.”

Cardiff Blues’ attention now turns to Saturday’s encounter against Munster, as they continue the crucial four-week block of Guinness PRO14 fixtures.

Scrum half Williams expects a typically tough challenge against the Limerick-based side, and insists they must continue their winning-ways at the Arms Park.

The Welsh international said: “We touched on the game in the changing room afterwards, and as far as we’re aware it was a good win but that’s over now we’ll now look at Munster next weekend.

“The win this week means nothing if we don’t back it up, but we’ll be confident at home no matter who the opposition are.

“We know how strong Munster are, and the Cheetahs game has been a really good hit-out, because Munster will be similar in size. 

“They’re always strong, even with their international players away, and we’re going to have to be on top of our game to be in with a shout.

“This block of four games is huge for us and we’ve really got to perform over the next few weeks to try to pick up a win in every game.”