Wallabies try not to be impressed by Sonny Bill
James Mortimer 15 Aug 2012 Getty Images
While most have fallen prey to Williams’ unique talents, against Australia Sonny Bill is still to show the All Blacks trans-Tasman rivals what he is all about.
Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith were the preferred midfielders for last year’s Tri-Nations matches, while his matchup against the Wallabies in the World Cup semi-final was most notable for a yellow card he received for tackling Quade Cooper.
Australian vice-captain Will Genia said it was simple to stop Williams.
"You've got just got to chop him down,” he said.
“Not give him too much space and flood those offload channels so you don't give them that second phase play.”
The Wallabies could be confident considering they have selected defensive linchpin Anthony Faingaa in their midfield, one player who had consistent success against Williams last season.
However that was in 2011, and Digby Ioane said Williams was a far more dangerous player.
"He had an awesome season,” Ioane said.
“He's done so well for himself. From last year he's moved on to another level.”
Genia might have the strategy for taking down Williams, but he didn’t deny that the centre offered the All Blacks plenty.
"He brings a lot to that group, he's an impact player for 80 minutes. He busts tackles, runs hard at the line and gets them momentum, looks for those offloads."
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