Williams brought down back to earth
February 29, 2012
Scott Williams goes over for what proved to be the match-winning score © Getty Images
Wales center Scott Williams claims that the moment he scored the match-winning try against England is still "a bit of a blur" but maintains that he has been brought straight back down to earth in training this week.
With Saturday's Six Nations contest with England evenly-poised at 12-12 with four minutes to play, Williams stole the ball from Red Rose second-row Courtney Lawes on halfway and grubbered ahead before gathering the ball for the decisive touchdown. The score has made the 21-year-old a national hero in the principality and his try is certain to go down in Welsh rugby folklore as it sealed Wales' 20th Triple Crown, the first they had secured on English soil.
Williams says his life has "been a bit hectic" since his heroics, but remains modest when describing his solo score.
"Ripping the ball is something we have been working on in training, you see it coming into the game more and more and obviously it also paid off for us," he said. "You have to be sharp and quick to rip the ball out, which is what we've worked on.
"He [Lawes] was concentrating on getting tackled by [Wales captain Sam] Warburton and I came in and caught him by surprise. It was a bit of a blur after that, I don't know why I kicked it. I think I did it because I was going to get tackled, and I just got a lucky bounce.
"You can kind of judge the bounce a bit but I just had a feeling it was going to bounce up and it did. The next thing I knew I was over the line and I didn't know what to do."
Williams' try came just minutes after he had failed to spot full-back Leigh Halfpenny in support after he had broken through the English defence, costing Wales a certain try, and he admits he has been reminded of his error by coaches and team-mates alike.
"I've been reminded about, we have had analysis on it," he said. "I had Leigh outside me and he said immediately to me that I should have passed. I had a quick glimpse but it happened so fast, but that's international rugby and hopefully I can learn from that, but in the moment it's a bit different."
The try was Williams' fifth for his country in 10 Tests, and it came after a meteoric rise to prominence.
Just 12 months ago the Carmarthen-born three-quarter was playing his trade in the semi-professional Welsh Premiership for Llanelli, but once he was given his chance with the Scarlets he quickly caught the eye of Wales coach Warren Gatland and went on to secure a place in the squad for the World Cup in New Zealand.
"This time last year I was playing semi-pro rugby," he said. "The last year has been on fast forward really. "I had a few chances at the Scarlets and managed to take them. Warren Gatland threw me in against the Barbarians and I did okay there.
"I managed to get on the plane to the World Cup and it's gone from there."
Jamie Roberts' knee injury gave Williams his chance to be a hero on Saturday, and with the Cardiff Blues man struggling to recover in time to face Italy next weekend Williams could be in line for a first Six Nations start. But he is taking nothing for granted.
He said: "It's not up to me. Jamie has been playing well and I will just be over the moon to be involved against Italy. I was on the bench last weekend, but just being part of winning the Triple Crown was one of the biggest things I've done in my career. It would be a dream but it is back to reality today as we have got plenty to work on in training."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Proposals to remove promotion and relegation from the Aviva Premiership would be for the good of the game overall, argues John Taylor
Ireland have the world sitting up and taking notice - and rugby's structure in Europe will aid their Rugby World Cup bid, writes John Mitchell
Where does Italy's win over Scotland rank among their successes in the Six Nations? Scrum Sevens investigates
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery