Problem-solving helped Blues to win

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Lynn McConnell     11 Mar 2019     Getty Images

While they claimed their first win of the season, the Blues had to cope with a Sunwolves team that refused to lie down. Only an over-excitement which led to conceding silly mistakes let them down.

But for Williams it was that problem-solving that was the key.

"The boys were speaking up and problem-solving on the field," he said.

It was a reflection of the camararderie he felt was developing in the side.

"We love playing together, the boys love coming to training and we enjoy each other's company," he said.

Williams was hopeful the win would be a launching pad for the side.

"Our scrum was dominant and our launches were pretty good. And in patches we showed what we could do when we held onto the ball, and how much damage we could create," he said.

Being captain for the win had also been satisfying with Williams quipping that if he never did the job again he would have a 100 percent win record.

"It's something I can tell the kids and the grandkids," he said.

But he said the leadership had been a collective effort.

"It's no secret we're pretty young in our leadership years here at the Blues, but I think that's a special thing because we can all come together and work together and feed off each other, which is what we did tonight," he said.

There was always going to be an extra factor in the game as the side marked the death of prop Mike Tamoaieta whose funeral they attended on Friday.
Williams said the funeral had been tough with some of the images seen and it had touched players.

There had been some emotion for the side at the start of the game and Williams said it had been necessary to calm the players down.

The incident had also been an important reminder to all involved.

"We honour that by showing how grateful we are, firstly to be professional sportsmen and do what we love doing, but also cherish our family members, cherish our kids and cherish our mums and dads," he said.

"Some of the boys were closer to Mikey than others and they've taken it a little bit harder. But I think it's showed how tight we are as a club, and it's cool to see."

While many in the squad were thankful for the arrival of their first bye in the competition this week, Williams said having been through a couple of injury-ravaged years he just wanted to keep playing.

"I know the All Blacks have a stand-down period, but I'd like to just keep playing because it's been a long, tough road the last couple of years, and it's just good to get some minutes under my belt," he said.