After re-signing with the Canberra Raiders for a few more seasons, halfback Sam Williams has denied claims that he is a defensive liability for the Raiders, as he promises to put his body on the line this week.
With Trevor Thurling and Jarrod Croker set to give him support in defence, Williams says that if the responsibility arises, he will not shy away from making the big tackles.
”They probably try and protect you a little bit, but when it comes down to it, if you’ve got to make the tackle, you’ve got to put your body on the line,” Williams said.
”That’s probably the main thing this weekend, that if I’ve got to make a tackle, I’ve got to do it.
”I’m sure Trev and that will try and help out but when it comes to the crunch, it’s up to me.’
With big wraps on him, it was Raiders Toyota Cup coach David Hamilton who found him, and he says that Williams can be as good as Carney in the future.
”He was a 15-year-old and we couldn’t believe what we were seeing. The way he took the line on was incredible for a kid that age, he saw space and play so early and that is something you learn with experience, and to have it so young is unbelievable.”
It was the Raiders own private fears that Williams body was not up to scratch to cope with the physical demands of the NRL, missing 4 tackles in Rd 1, but making 11.
”[The NRL] is a lot more physical than the Toyota Cup,” Williams said.
”But if you get the opportunity you’re going to try and put your hand up week in, week out, and nothing’s going to hold you back. I think the body will be all right, and hopefully I can do a good job this weekend.”
With Orford playing poorly, and copping the brunt of the criticism, Williams says that this is uncalled for, and one player cannot be to blame for a poor performance.
”I think he’s been all right,” Williams said of Orford.
‘There’s been a lot of scrutiny on him. There’s other players on the footy field and they probably haven’t been aiming up as well.
”He’s taking a lot of the flak after that first game. He’s coming back from a bit of a break and he’s going to be right in the long run.”
Williams is also looking forward to matching up with one of the games best players in Jonathon Thurston this week.
”It’ll be a good experience, I’m really looking forward to it,” Williams said.
”I’ve been watching him for the last few years and he’s played Origin and for Australia and he’s been the pinnacle of the game.
”If I can take a couple things out of the game and a win this weekend that’d be perfect.”