Same again from super sub Scott Williams, please!
WALES v ENGLAND (Saturday, KO 5pm)
SCOTT Williams was Wales’ hero against England last year and home fans wouldn’t mind a jot if the super sub repeats his extraordinary match-winning exploits in Cardiff this Saturday.
At Twickenham last season, the Scarlets centre tipped the scales in his side’s favour, the visitors edging a titanic war of attrition.
With the match precariously poised at 12-12 after 76 minutes, Williams, a half time replacement for inside centre Jamie Roberts, proved to be the game breaker.
Ripping the ball from second row colossus Courtney Lawes, he kicked ahead, the ball bouncing up beautifully before he touched down for a mesmerising converted try. There was still time for England to mount a last gasp attack, wing David Strettle going agonisingly close for the home side but for some great defensive work by full back Leigh Half-penny and outside centre Jonathan Davies.
After what seemed like an aeon, with the television match official sifting through the evidence of a possible try, referee David Walsh signalled the end of an epic encounter when the footage proved to be inconclusive.
A 19-12 success meant Wales had seized their 20th Triple Crown, going on to claim their 11th Grand Slam with later home wins over Italy and France.
Just as another England v Wales classic at Twickenham will forever be remembered as the Ray ‘Chico’ Hopkins match (the Maesteg scrum half replacing Gareth Edwards and inspiring Wales to a thrilling 17-13 win in 1970) last year’s showdown will always belong to Williams.
“It was a really special moment in my career and to go on to win the Grand Slam was massive,” explained the 22-year-old.
On Saturday, England come in search of their 13th championship clean sweep and the first since their golden, World Cup winning year of 2003.
As well as crashing England’s Grand Slam party at the Millennium Stadium this Saturday, Wales can also equal their record of 26 championship titles.
Williams, who has won 19 caps and scored six Test tries, has only played a bit part so far in this season’s campaign as a late replacement in the three away victories over France, Italy and Scotland, having to stay on the bench for the home defeat to Ireland.
But, as he has already shown in Twickenham, he can certainly make a huge impact if called upon.
“Any thing like last year would be great for me,” Williams said.
“People speak about what I did in that Triple Crown game but you forget what Leigh and Jon did at the end.
“Nobody would have remembered my try if England had got over at the end. What they did was just as important.”
Williams admitted he has dined out on his great achievement for the last 12 months but added he can’t just be content with living on past glories.
“It’s starting to wear off a bit now, there’s no more free drinks so I’ll have to do something again this weekend,” he said.
“The main thing is getting on the pitch. They are two established players, all I can do is keep training hard. Jon and Jamie have been playing very well so there is no reason to not select them.
“When I take the field, I have to do as much as I can and carry on where they left off.”