Liam Williams had to fight back tears as he ran on to the pitch for his 50th Wales cap at the weekend, yet a pair of tries and a big win ensured it was a ‘superb afternoon’ for the flying winger.
Williams now has 11 Test tries – seven of those coming in the Six Nations – after scoring an acrobatic first and a late second in the record 74-24 success over Tonga.
The 27-year-old had the honour of leading his country out at Principality Stadium and admits emotions were running high as he brought up the half-century milestone.
“It was very emotional,” explained Williams. “When Dan Biggar said congratulations to me as I ran out for the anthems, I had to fight back the tears.
“To win my 50th cap and score two tries makes it a superb afternoon. It’s a great honour and something I’m very, very proud of. Hopefully there are many more caps to come.
“Once I started singing the national anthem I was able to put the emotion behind me and focus on the game and then once the first kick happened, my head was on the match.”
Gunning for the Boks
Tonga had actually rallied to level the game at 24-24 just after half-time before 50 unanswered points brought up Wales’ record winning margin.
That gives them a shot at a perfect autumn when they face South Africa in their final Test before the 2019 Six Nations next week – having won three from three so far this November.
And while Williams knows there is still room for improvement, victory over the Springboks is exactly what he is now targeting.
“We had a great first 20 minutes at the weekend but then I thought we took our foot off the gas and let Tonga back into the game in the second 20 of the first half,” he added.
“We came out in the second half and we were all guns blazing. We knew it would open up and Tonga would tire, and we took advantage of that.
“As a team we could have done more, but it’s three from three now which is superb.
“Whoever is picked next week will look to go out there and make it four from four against South Africa next weekend. That would be amazing.”