Rugby World Cup 2011: Williams hails Wales display

Shane Williams hailed a "fantastic" defensive performance by Wales after they knocked Ireland out

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
Rugby World Cup - Quarter-final, 8 October 2011, Wellington Regional Stadium
team1
Wales
22 - 10
team2
Ireland

Wales wing Shane Williams hailed a “massive” performance against Ireland as Warren Gatland’s men booked their place in next Saturday’s World Cup semi-finals.

Williams, Mike Phillips and Jonathan Davies all touched down to hand Wales a 22-10 victory, dashing Irish hopes of reaching the last four of the tournament for the first time.

And the Welsh wing paid credit to the “fantastic” effort of his team-mates, who resisted relentless Irish pressure to seal an historic victory.

“It was a massive performance, we knew they had a lot of big ball carriers and there was a lot of tackling stopping them on the gain line because they are dangerous, it was a fantastic defensive effort,” Williams said

“We always say we don’t start good enough, and we started perfectly today and it was just what we wanted. It’s easier to be ahead of the game than chasing it. It’s a massive achievement and we have worked so hard.

“The team in 1987 did it [reached the last four] and got third place. But we have the semi next week, the boys are thrilled and it’s a massive achievement, it’s brilliant.”

Meanwhile, Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll admitted their opponents were just too good and rued his side’s inability to recreate their memorable performance against Australia in the group stages.

“We got outplayed in the second half, they scored two good tries, maybe there was some weak defence but we are very disappointed to be going home,” O’Driscoll said.

“It was a great opportunity after winning the group but they proved worthy semi-finalists and good luck to them.

“We needed to deliver a performance similar to against Australia or Italy last week, but we didn’t, we knocked on too much ball and when you turn too much ball over against quality of opposition they make you pay and we are the ones left disappointed.”

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