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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 29 May, 2020

'I looked up, I saw a bit of space and I just stuck my head down'

Liam Williams’ moment of magic will live long in the memory, despite this morning’s Lions defeat.

BRITISH & IRISH LIONS full-back Liam Williams is optimistic about their chances of turning around the series against New Zealand, following this morning’s comprehensive defeat to the All Blacks.

Warren Gatland’s side suffered a 30-15 loss in Auckland in the first of three Test matches against the world champions, despite a moment of magic from Williams in the first half.

Liam Williams with Sonny Bill Williams Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

His superb break engineered a move which culminated in a try for Sean O’Brien, as the Lions responded to a 14th-minute Codie Taylor effort. Two Rieko Ioane tries stretched New Zealand’s lead in the second half. Rhys Webb got a late score for the tourists.

“This was the biggest game of my life and it was an absolute honour just to be out there on the pitch with the boys. But there’s ups and downs.

“We switch off for a second and we turn around and they’re under the sticks,” said the Scarlets and Wales full-back, referencing Taylor’s opening try. “We’ll look back at the video, dust ourselves down and come back next week.”

Williams lit up Eden Park in the 36th minute when he exploded out of the Lions’ 22, advancing beyond Kieran Read and in between Aaron Cruden and Sonny Bill Williams. O’Brien finished off the move after support play from Jonathan Davies and Elliot Daly.

“I looked up, I saw a bit of space and I just stuck my head down,” Williams said, reflecting on a try that will live long in the memory, in spite of the result.

“I love playing [at] 15, I love having the ball in hand and I love having a run. There are times when you have to stick it long or go up into the air. It was on, I had a go and at the end of that move we’d scored in the left-hand corner.”

Liam Williams dejected Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

In an otherwise excellent performance from Williams, he was left reeling on 71 minutes when he failed to gather a kick from TJ Perenara, which allowed Ioane in for his second try.

The 26-year-old remained defiant afterwards, insisting that it’s still all to play for ahead of next Saturday’s second Test in Wellington.

“Like I said, it’s an absolute honour to be out there,” Williams added. “There’s ups and downs and highs and lows. We’ll head back to hotel now, we’ll look at the video tomorrow and head down to Wellington and be back on the pitch on Monday.”

When asked if the Lions are capable of bouncing back to win the series, Williams said: “Yes, of course. Of course we can.”

Source: The42 Rugby Show/SoundCloud

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Paul Dollery

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