Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Six Nations: Try record now in Brian O’Driscoll’s hands, says Williams

Wales's Jonathan Davies is tackled by Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll during the RBS 6 Nations Match at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday March 12, 2011. See PA Story RUGBYU Wales. Photo credit should read: David Jones/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. No commercial use. No book use without prior permission. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
CARDIFF, WALES - MARCH 12: Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll appeals to Referee Jonathan Kaplan of South Africa after Mike Phillips of Wales scores a try in the corner during the RBS Six Nations Championship match between Wales and Ireland at the Millennium Stadium on March 12, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales. Ireland believe that the wrong ball was used at a lineout directly leading to a try being scored by Mike Phillips of Wales. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Welsh wing ace Shane Williams has admitted that Irish captain Brian O’Driscoll’s third minute try at the Millennium Stadium may have hastened his retirement from the game.

Prior to kick-off both were in hot pursuit of the late Ian Smith’s record of 24 Championship tries. O’Driscoll began the day with 23, Williams with 22.

O’Driscoll’s try took him level with the Scot, leaving Williams two short of parity.

Already Williams has said that this will be his final Six Nations campaign, though with him being just three tries short of an all-time record, Welsh supporters are hoping that may persuade him to play for at least one more season.

“Brian scoring didn’t help,” Williams smiled, before lauding his Lions colleague. “But that just goes to show what a quality player he is as well. Scoring early on in a game like that put us under massive pressure.”

That said, Williams stressed he was more than happy to forego personal acclaim in the interests of the team.

“Prior to the game I’d have taken the win ahead of any record and that’s exactly what we’ve had,” Williams said.

Pressed again as to whether this really is his last season he replied: “If need be I’ll be there, but we’ve got to be realistic. I’m 35 next year and wing is a position where you don’t play when you’re that old.”

Meanwhile former Irish coach Warren Gatland said he understood Ireland feeling upset about Mike Phillips’ hotly disputed 50th minute try.

Gatland, who now coaches Wales, said: “Ireland aren’t happy about it and I can understand that. But these things happen in sport. Sometimes decisions go for you; sometimes they don’t.”

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