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Guest From The Game - Australian Rugby league News
globalrugbyleague - Sat, 26 May 2007 16:12:00 GMT
When you leave a team that has won the last two premierships that’s hard. But sacrifices have to be made by players that want to make it into the NRL. Roosters winger John Williams should know.

Josh King: John, you played your first NRL game with the Roosters last weekend against Melbourne. While the scoreline wasn’t so flattering, you were the only player to make a line break while you ran an incredible 113 metres. How did it feel to finally play in first grade?

John Williams: Thanks for that. Yeah, it was good. Had a little bit of a slow start to the season but finally good to get a shot in there and hopefully I can stay there for a little bit longer.

JK: You are competing with a player in front of you of the calibre of Amos Roberts for a spot on the wing. Do you get frustrated having to wait so long to show what you’re capable of?

JW: Oh, a little bit but I’ve only just come to the club. I’ve only started playing about 5 games (Newtown) this season, so I’ve got to prove myself a little bit. Amos, as you know, has such a really good record, he’s actually really good to learn off as well.

JK: With only 6 games worth of NRL experience heading over to Bondi, what was Chris Anderson expecting from you this season?

JW: It was a fresh start for everyone really. I just needed to do my best and I guess everyone was on the same page really.

JK: You’ve left a club that has been relatively successful in recent years to a club that hasn’t hit its straps in the past few seasons. Is there more pressure for you now at the Roosters?

JW: Probably I was more looking for an opportunity because I had Eric (Grothe) and Jarryd (Hayne) in front of me. They were both very good Origin footballers. I came over here looking for an opportunity, I got one over the weekend and hopefully that continues for the rest of the season.

JK: When you decided to head to the Roosters, were you expecting to play under Ricky Stuart or Chris Anderson?

JW: I was actually signed under Ricky and then Chris came.

JK: What does Chris do on a practical level to keep the boys heads up given the slow start to the season?

JW: Probably one thing he’s reinforced most is continuing to work hard. We’ve been building on little parts of our game all throughout and getting better. Even though we lost last week, he said it was one of our best games.

JK: Was it difficult to believe you played well when you got beaten 26-2?

JW: Yeah, it sort of does. I played okay, made a couple of errors but it sort of dulls that feeling that you played a half-decent game. It’s a bit hard but that’s footy.

JK: So playing without Minichello and Anasta last weekend wasn’t the disaster that some in the media predicted it would be?

JW: We thought we played pretty well for about 90 per cent of that game and we were really happy with our defense.

JK: You’re up against the Sharks on Saturday night. They’re going to be incredibly hard to beat given that not many of their players starred in Origin 1. What’s the preparation like knowing you’ve yet to beat a top eight team this year?

JW: We haven’t really focused on that, we’ve mostly focused on our own game for this week. Working on where we’re going and getting a pattern going. The Sharks are always hard to beat at Shark Park on a Saturday night, so we’re up for a real test and hopefully we’ll go alright.

JK: Where do you think the Sharks are really going to test you?

JW: You can’t really go past their back-row with Gallen, Bird and Thompson there. They’re really strong and influent players. That’s what’s been working for them in the past and I think that’s where they’ll test us again.

JK: What do you do to stay positive knowing there’s a player of equal talent like Amos Roberts in front of you?

JW: It’s really hard. You’ve just got to stay positive, keep working. It’s a really good atmosphere and a lot of your mates are there in the same position, so you just sort of stick together and keep plugging away and things will come good.

JK: Are there too many good players in the Jets side having to wait a bit longer then they thought it would take to get a crack in first grade?

JW: Oh, hard to say really. That’s all depending on the coach, I’m not the coach and I can’t decide on that. There is some good young talent coming through.

JK: Josh Lewis was in the news last week saying that other players were unhappy and wanted to leave the club. What are your thoughts on Josh voicing his opinion in the media?

JW: He’s entitled to his opinion. He’s left and starting to get a start with the Titans, so I wish him all the best.

JK: We’ve saved the most important question for last. Your nickname at the club is ‘HotDog.’ How did you earn that title?

JW: (laughs). That’s an interesting one. I’ve actually had it since I was about 12. One of my mates who I used to play with at Hills District, his brother gave it to me. I’m not quite sure what it means. It’s something to do with being a smart-arse or a good young player and it’s just stuck since I was 12.
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