Williams says referee apologised for sin-binning

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Lynn McConnell     17 Nov 2017     Getty Images

Williams, who has been studying his rugby law book since the incident, said referee Angus Gardner had apologised to him for sending him to the sin-bin.

It had been what he called 'an honest mistake' by the referee just as his own action in the in-goal area had been. 

"It was just an honest mistake. I was lying on the ground and looked up and said to Jimbo [Damian McKenzie], 'Am I allowed to do that?'"

Williams said the two things were just rugby. But he did add that he had been looking up the law book subsequently.

One of the goals for the team in Saturday's Test with Scotland at Murrayfield in Edinburgh would be attempting to reduce the number of penalties conceded.

Scotland's win over Australia in the June series had not slipped under the radar in New Zealand and had the players well aware of their threat, Williams said.

"We're here, we're ready to play, but we know we've got a massive challenge.

"They've got some very dangerous players in their squad and I think just the flavour of football that they're playing at the moment is great to see and it's great for world rugby but coming up against that puts us on edge that we have to be on our game to compete with these guys," he said.

Williams said time with Ryan Crotty in the centres had helped their combination and they brought the best out of each other in games, he said.

Wing Rieko Ioane, who has been nominated by World Rugby as a contender for breakout player of the year and a player of the year in their annual awards, said he was humbled and honoured to be nominated, especially with the quality of the other nominations. He said the team deserved credit for helping him reach that level.

"I was just trying to get some decent game time under my belt this year. It's probably been my first year when I've had full concentration on 15s so I have been pretty happy with how everything went. I was just looking to improve on my game and help the team wherever I can," he said.

Williams said Ioane's achievements were a credit to himself and his family.

"His mum and dad are great and you can just see where he's obviously got his talent from and where he's got his level-headedness from.

"I'm just really proud of him, I've seen where he's come from and the hard work he's put in. It's awesome to see him shine up there and it gives us a boost because he finishes off those half-chances he gets," he said.

Ioane said they found out in Paris how quickly the French crowd could get behind France so they were expecting a similar sort of reaction for Scotland from their home crowd.

"We know their form this year has been pretty awesome and they've got some key players that we know are going to put a lot of pressure on us. They've got some quick outside backs and some forwards who like to get their heads stuck into the dirty work," he said.

Ioane said it had been a different week of preparation for the side with the midweek game and the travel after it, but the only difference at their Tuesday training had been in the numbers and not in the intensity.

"With a good captain's run tomorrow [Friday] we'll be ready to rip into it come Saturday," he said.