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Monday, January 24, 2011

Shane Williams sparks life into Ospreys as they beat Toulon

Ospreys hosted Toulon in what was a bit of a dead rubber at the Liberty Stadium on the weekend. Pride was on the line for the home side, who came away 29-17 winners over the weakened tourists, who had already qualified for the knockout stages.

Aside from the win for Ospreys, the great news for Welsh rugby is that ace winger Shane Williams came off the bench and was fantastic, coming back from an injury that many thought would see him sitting out of the early stages of the Six Nations.

It was Williams’ first outing since dislocating his shoulder against South Africa in November and he looked fresh as ever, setting up a try for Nikki Walker and looking threatening with ball in hand. He’s since been called back into the Wales squad.

"I’m just chuffed I’m back three weeks early. The timing is perfect. Maybe it was meant to be. Who knows? When I had the injury, they were talking 12 to 13 weeks. But I’ve had injuries before and I’ve always seemed to come back early. I don’t know what it is," Williams said.

"I was a bit worried this time with the age factor and everything. But I just played it by ear. It isn’t an injury you can mess around with. I’ve said this is going to be my last international year and the last thing I wanted to do was rush back, play a couple of minutes and make the injury worse.

"I wasn’t going to push it. I’ve come to a stage now where you’ve got to look after your body and that was the main thing really. I wanted to make sure I was 100 per cent fit before I played any rugby. But I’ve been lucky. I’ve worked very hard to get back and the rehab has gone very well," he added.

Toulon had scored through Matt Henjak and Rory Lamont and were 17-12 up when Williams came on, but he sparked things and set up the Walker try with typically brilliant simplicity, if that’s even a term. Walker strolled over after Williams summed things up.

Alun Wyn Jones scored late on, sealing a good win that keeps up their unbeaten home record in Europe since December 2005.

Time: 03:33



  • first!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 24, 2011 6:11 pm  

  • that's too bad for us (Toulon), things were going so well in the first half!
    good job from the ospreys' bench!

    By Anonymous ruck n ram, at January 24, 2011 6:18 pm  

  • Shane Williams: Causing defences to **** themselves since 2000.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 24, 2011 6:19 pm  

  • Great result for the Ospreys... and Williams return can't have been better timed for Wales... maybe the 6N won't be as gloomy for the Welsh as we all thought it would be...

    But, Barnes decision for the initial penalty is an absolute shocker. A great tackle and that should have been a turn-over... unless Barnes ruled that the Toulon 12 hadn't released. But he didn't. He allowed Hook to cling on before blowing Toulon up for going off their feet... stinker!

    By Anonymous Hackney Griffin, at January 24, 2011 6:40 pm  

  • Ahh.

    Its wonderful to have Shane Williams back in action. That cheeky bugger is always a delight to watch.

    Thing is, much like the South Africa match, many grunts will be out to get him with a heightened sense of prejudice due to his dancing around.

    I hope he manages to stay healthy for the RWC.

    By Anonymous EARugbyFan, at January 24, 2011 6:48 pm  

  • the turning point of that game was jonny wilkison's premature exit
    indeed, PSA's decision to take him off and put useless tom may on was crucial to the way toulon played the remainder of the game.

    because it is clear that may doesnt match wilkinson in any aspects of the game, even clearer to toulon fans, by whom he is less than appreciated

    all to say that i believe the outcome of this game could have been different if Jonny Wilkinson had kept on running the game for RCT and slot the points on offer (dropgoals specially)

    By Anonymous Luxi, at January 24, 2011 8:03 pm  

  • Hairsprays = a buch of over rated, over paid, under performers.

    Nuff said

    By Anonymous angryfan, at January 24, 2011 8:20 pm  

  • Good to see Shane Williams back in action.

    Hope he get his form up for the 6 nations.

    By Anonymous Flipje, at January 24, 2011 8:31 pm  

  • "This is going to be my last international year" - something I hoped Shane Williams would never say.

    By Anonymous fry, at January 24, 2011 9:06 pm  

  • Good match from the Ospreys!
    Look at that moment with Alun-wyn Jones! He's maybe the only rugby player who can stay calm after getting something like that! You directly see that he is a responsable catpain!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 24, 2011 9:28 pm  

  • Hackney Griffin said...
    But, Barnes decision for the initial penalty is an absolute shocker. A great tackle and that should have been a turn-over... unless Barnes ruled that the Toulon 12 hadn't released. But he didn't. He allowed Hook to cling on before blowing Toulon up for going off their feet... stinker!

    The penalty was for using hands in the ruck. Which did still seem a bit harsh. Great hit by Kefu.

    By Anonymous Von, at January 24, 2011 9:59 pm  

  • Shane williams and alun wyn jones were awesome, if only we didnt screw things up against london irish.

    By Anonymous WelshOsprey, at January 24, 2011 11:22 pm  

  • Shane Williams: Giving away more tries than he scores due to his shit defence since 2000.

    By Anonymous H, at January 25, 2011 1:05 am  

  • H said...
    Shane Williams: Giving away more tries than he scores due to his shit defence since 2000.

    Just like lomu & campese

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 25, 2011 3:16 am  

  • Thank fuck hes back for the england game both teams injury lists are looking ridiculous

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 25, 2011 7:07 am  

  • hook always tries that stupid dummy and it never usually works lol

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 25, 2011 8:00 am  

  • That was a great smash by Kefu, good to see Williams back playing.

    Maybe I'm not working this out right but did somebody miss the conversion from Henjaks try? it was right under the posts. Wouldn't have made much difference to the game but you can't miss sitters like that.

    By Anonymous Nick, at January 25, 2011 10:07 am  

  • Why can't Jonny play like this for England? :( He is such a crucial part of the Toulon side, and the way they play, but doesn't seem to fit with England anymore

    By Blogger RedYeti, at January 25, 2011 1:27 pm  

  • Hello could someone explain the first penalty after the tremendous work by Kefu? He stood on his legs for the first seconds, tehn fell when ball was secure. What was wrong?

    By Blogger Yannoche, at January 25, 2011 5:36 pm  

  • ^ @Yannoche ^
    Listening to referee Wayne Barnes on the video, the penalty was for hands in the ruck. Presumably referring to Kefu's hands as he seems to be the only one handling the ball.

    In my opinion Barnes has called this wrong. Kefu released Hook after the tackle, got to his feet and got his hands on the ball before the ruck was formed. Nothing wrong with that as far as I can see and a pity after such a cracking tackle.

    By Anonymous Von, at January 25, 2011 5:51 pm  

  • Sorry, my mistake. He's called "hands away" then awarded the penalty for the player off his feet. I don't think the ball had been secured at that point. BUT there are two or three Ospreys players off their feet too and one lying on the ground reaching into the middle of the ruck with his hands.

    Either way, doesn't seem a fair call to me...

    By Anonymous Von, at January 25, 2011 5:58 pm  

  • "Why can't Jonny play like this for England? :( "

    Because Johnson won't let him back on the squad. Take it up with the dumbass management who are bent on Toby Flood being England's (sub-par) future.

    By Anonymous no rain in spain, at January 25, 2011 6:55 pm  

  • Redyeti, I'll assume that is a genuine question an not a statement. There is nothing stopping JW playing for England other than Martin Johnson. On paper JW is well within rights to be selected etc, it is only MJ stating he will not pick those in non 'home' teams.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 25, 2011 7:36 pm  

  • I reckon it's because JW is still in awe of Johnno from their playing days. Johnson even when he wasn't captain would have had such a formidable presence when you're winning your first England caps aged, what, 18 or 19?

    There was a game last year where JW started, as he had the previous few matches, and played incredibly deep, kicked a lot and really didn't drive much forward momentum. I think this was because of a prescribed game-plan that Wilko felt unable to challenge. I remember Flood coming on and taking up a much more aggressive attacking position on the field. Turned round to check the backline with an expression on his face as if to say "where the **** is everyone?!" because they were all standing so deep. Floody had the balls to bin the rugby-by-numbers and play with a bit more freedom which the rest of the backs bought into and turned the game around. I think he's been England's starting fly-half ever since that game. (The fact he plays for Leicester probably helps, but that's another matter!).

    Wilkinson, as is abundantly evident from his Toulon performances, is perfectly capable of playing that way too. And better. He is shackled by his own loyalty to Johnno.

    By Anonymous Von, at January 26, 2011 6:41 pm  

  • is there any point to dan biggar?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 26, 2011 7:21 pm  

  • Sparked by shane williams? That little grub touched the ball once.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 27, 2011 3:38 am  

  • Just short comment on the wilko-Flood discussion....why not playing with both of them????

    During Toulon Munster, Contepomi played 10 while Wilko played center???? I do not know whether this was a one off situation but the result was pretty interesting....

    By Anonymous Flipje, at January 27, 2011 9:23 am  

  • Yep, totally agree with that. Would love to see it.
    Nothing against Flutey or Hape, who've been solid if unspectacular for England. Don't want to be xenophobic, but why are we drafting in Kiwis when there's a World Cup winner waiting in the wings who could potentially do a better job.

    By Anonymous Von, at January 27, 2011 9:52 am  

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