Defeat will 'burn away' at All Blacks - Williams


NZPA     04 Sep 2006     NZRU

The All Blacks were annoyed they let numerous chances slip for what would have been an unconvincing victory, yet one which sealed their fourth unbeaten Philips Tri Nations (after 1996, 1997 and 2003), their 16th win in a row and New Zealand's second series win in South Africa after 1996.

A poor lineout and dropped passes at crucial times cost the All Blacks, who lost 20-21, and Williams said it would be felt for the two months until the November tour to England, France and Wales.

"If you looked out there a lot of boys were not happy. Individually we probably didn't play as well as what we wanted to, and collectively we didn't apply what we wanted to," he said.

"It'll definitely burn away for a while. The chance for us is to prove ourselves again and make it into the team for the end of year tour."

The ninth Test in 12 weeks was just one too far, Williams said, despite a relaxed buildup last week in the opulent surrounds of the Sun City resort.

"As a rugby player it's quite hard to get up, week in, week out sometimes. You're playing for the black jersey and that brings out the best in a lot of players but sometimes it's a hard road here.

"You guys (media) talked it up about us staying in a flash hotel -- admittedly it was flash but there's nothing we can say that we did wrong.

"The preparation was right, but the team that wanted it, won. There was a penalty right at the last minute, a few knock-ons, and intercept, it could gone either way to be honest."

Williams played a full 80 minutes when fellow lock Chris Jack was substituted by Jason Eaton in the 55th minute, still feeling the effects of a virus.

He insisted the line-outs weren't at crisis point, despite the All Blacks losing six of their own throws with one lineout blunder leading to Pedrie Wannenburg's crucial second half try.

"Generally we got our ball, we didn't get that one on the line which was pretty frustrating," Williams said.

"You can't expect to get 100 percent all the time. A lot comes off a lineout, more than you think, it's not all about winning your ball. We'll learn from it and move on."