Williams' most pleased with side's defence after Storm trial
Tuesday 12 February 2013 10:27 AM
When a side puts forty on the defending premiers it would be safe to assume that their attack will be the most lauded feature of their game, however halfback Sam Williams was most pleased with the fact that the Canberra Raiders only managed to leak eight points against the Melbourne Storm in the trial on Saturday.
Last year the Raiders blew teams off the park at times with their potent attack. The Green Machine scored 97 tries last year, the fourth highest in the competition however they also conceded the same amount of tries which entailed that the Raiders were in the bottom half of the competition defensively.
Williams believes that if the Raiders are to improve on their 6th placed finish then they will have to keep improving on their defensive resolve.
“Defence has been a massive focus for us over the pre-season,” said Williams, who played 52 minutes in the trial.
“We’ve got to make sure that we defend well because scoring points hasn’t been too big of a drama for us.
“We need to make sure that we defend well and work as a team. On the weekend the Storm threw a fair bit at us and we came up trumps most of the time.
“The two tries they scored were around us and we’re happy with that because we don’t want them coming through the middle of us. Most of the signs out of the weekend were pretty good for us.”
The fact of the matter is that if players don’t aim up defensively, then there are multiple other options for Coach David Furner to choose from given the fantastic depth he has at his disposal this year.
Over 10 top line players were unavailable for Canberra due to All Stars commitments and injury, yet the Raiders still completely outplayed the Storm.
“We had a lot of players out and to come out with that result is really exciting,” said Williams.
“Our lesser known players really stood up and went really well. Hodgey [Haydon Hodge] came on at fullback and played really well and Mark [Mark Nicholls] is coming off a pretty good season last year.
“There are plenty of players that are keen to step up and get that opportunity in first grade so the players in front of them need to be on their toes. It’s exciting to have that sort of depth at the club.
“We had a really good pre-season and I think most of the boys were pretty excited to get out there and play their first game for the year.
“Hopefully we can improve again this weekend against Mounties and Wyong but it’s very good to have that sort of depth and to get that sort of result in the first hit out.”