Belfast Telegraph

RaboDirect Pro12: Williams still a key man for Cardiff

By Michael Sadlier

Just a few hours after Wales skipper Sam Warburton won admiration for his display in last Sunday's agonising defeat to South Africa, elsewhere his Cardiff Blues team-mate Martyn Williams was reminding us that he too can still make a significant impact.

The veteran flanker, who lost his Wales place to Warburton, ran a typically good support line to score the Blues' third try in their 33-18 bonus-point win over Benetton Treviso in Cardiff.

Williams' try may have brought some consolation for missing out on making a fourth World Cup and his presence in a Blues squad missing eight players who are currently in New Zealand has definitely been beneficial tot he Welsh capital's side.

They had a dreadful end to last season and that poor finish, along with the enforced retirement of Tom Shanklin, did considerable damage to squad morale.

Mind you, that was nothing compared to the acrimony over long-serving head coach Dai Young's protracted departure to Wasps, which was played out to a highly toxic backdrop.

Justin Burnell and Gareth Baber, both former assistants under Young, are now directing operations. So far, the charges have made a significant impact but it is still early days.

A lot has been said about how the Blues are going to bounce back. They've started well, but need to keep delivering.

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