The best is yet to come - SBW

2011-10-12 07:13

Auckland - New Zealand are yet to play their best rugby at the World Cup, All Blacks back Sonny Bill Williams warned ahead of Sunday's semi-final against trans-Tasman rivals Australia.

The All Blacks cruised through the pool stage and overcame Argentina 33-10 in the quarter-final to set up a clash with the Wallabies, who found themselves in this side of the draw after surprisingly losing to Ireland in their pool.

"We haven't played our best footy yet," said Williams, who spent five years in Australia playing rugby league for the Canterbury Bulldogs, including winning the NRL grand final in 2004 at the age of 18.

Williams, who also won seven New Zealand league caps before switching codes, has found himself playing in the unaccustomed position of wing as the All Blacks battle several injuries within their squad, but the 26-year-old insisted he was enjoying the experience.

"I've surprised myself how well I've played on the wing," the league second-row, whose smart offloads and running lines have been among the highlights of this tournament, said on Tuesday.

"Some people didn't think I could play rugby (union), I showed them that I can. I'm always a confident player and if I'm put out there (on the wing) I'll do the job as best I can, just do the little things and it all comes good.

"I'm doing all the little things right, I'm ticking all the boxes during the week and staying in the now, not looking back at the past or what's happened."

The World Cup, Williams argued, was the reason he moved from the Bulldogs to French Top 14 club Toulon in 2008 and then back to New Zealand last year.

"There is nothing better than this stage," he said. "It's pretty much the whole reason why I came back here, to test myself against the best players, to try and make this team, this squad."

Now that fullback Mils Muliaina has been ruled out with injury, Israel Dagg will be favourite to take over the number 15 shirt against Australia, leaving coach Graham Henry with a real selection headache when it comes to Williams.

Henry rightly likes the proven midfield combination of Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith, likely leaving Williams to battle Richard Kahui and Cory Jane for a spot on the wing.

Alternatively, the All Blacks might think that pitching Williams in at wing against proven Wallaby finishers Digby Ioane and James O'Connor might be too much to ask, leaving the cross-code star kicking his heels on the bench.

"Competition is fierce within the team," Williams acknowledged. "But it's a good competition and it brings the best out of us.

"Hopefully, I'll get picked and I'm involved. If I am, that's great."


  • Jeff - 2011-10-12 08:05

    Such a great player, SBW! Even though everyone knows his weakpoints(can only do the off-load with his right hand), he still manage to do his off-loads. Enough said 'bout him. May the Luckiest team won the Semi between Aus and NZ. I would like to see both of them out, as Aus won by "cheating", and NZ, just to show Bryce his effort has failed and by means of that, he has make an @ss of himself. I would like to see our new coaching staff and the new upcoming players. However, i also want to thank our current team with the coaching staff as well. I was and still is a proud SA-supporter.

      Henk - 2011-10-12 14:31

      This thing was cooked from the start. BL made shure SA and Aus face each other by letting Ireland win. They would then decide wich is weaker team and let them win. Aus. NZ would get the Argies for a QF, This whole thing was worked out long ago. sinse 2009 Tri nations. Pdivvy complained and they quickly called him in and shut him up. RWC is a big Farce!

      raven7 - 2011-10-12 21:41

      It must be tough to type from the foetal position....boohoo

  • Stephan Fourie - 2011-10-12 08:18

    @allblacks Behind you boys all the way.

  • Johnny-BB - 2011-10-12 08:45

    ....2011 World Champions = Al Blacks..!! ........Go All Blacks..!!

      Christy - 2011-10-12 12:12

      The all blacks has been average so far. I believe the lucky team australia is going to give them a very, very hard time. For some reason I think the aussies is going to beat the all blacks.

  • Alan - 2011-10-12 09:26

    Who or what is SBW? Oh yeah, I remember - it stands for Sonny Bench Warmer.

      raven7 - 2011-10-12 21:43

      would waltz into the bok backline.....

  • pages:
  • 1