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Williams – Blues need to find hunger

Guinness PRO12 Editor

23 May 2011

Martyn Williams insists Cardiff Blues have to rediscover their hunger following a disappointing season.

The veteran flanker reckons the capital city outfit have fallen into a comfort zone following cup triumphs in successive years.

The Blues picked up the EDF Cup in 2009 and the Amlin Challenge Cup in 2010 but they have endured a barren year, where they failed to reach the knockout stages of any competition.

The Blues twice had the opportunity to secure their place in the Magners League play-offs this season. But they fell to consecutive losses against the Newport Gwent Dragons and the Scarlets to fall to sixth in the league table.

"We can’t hide from the fact that it’s been a really disappointing year for us, especially after the last few years we’ve had being successful," said Williams.

"Maybe we got into a little bit of a comfort zone after the last couple of years and we didn’t kick on.

"There’s been a lot going on off the field at the Blues since Christmas and I don’t think that’s helped us.

"It’s been well documented and it’s about a lot of players as well. Hopefully that’s all behind us now and we can move on. I think we’ll turn up a much hungrier side next year.

"But it’s just disappointing we didn’t get in the knockout stages of the Magners, because we really targeted that.

"Although people point to those last two games, I think it was earlier on in the season we lost out.

"We lost a few home games, to the likes of Scarlets, Ulster and Munster.

"Those games were ultimately the ones that cost us. The last two games were probably a step too far for us with everything that had gone on.

"I don’t want to make excuses, but injuries do take a toll and those caught up with us in the end."

The Blues main downfall this season has been a lack of cutting edge in the backs. They scored just 37 tries in 22 league fixtures and secured a try-scoring bonus-point on only three occasions.

"Our defence has been pretty good," added Williams. We’ve had one of the best defences around.

"It’s just we’ve been nowhere near as dangerous with the ball in hand. That’s not just down to one person. That’s collectively.

"It’s just all of us have not performed as well as we could have. We just didn’t finish it off as we would have liked.

"It wasn’t for lack of effort. It just wasn’t to be this year."

But having ended the campaign on a low, Williams, who has racked up 74 Magners League appearances for the Blues, is pleased to have agreed a one-year contract extension and is determined to make amends.

"I’m glad that I’ve got another crack at it next season".