Williams fits right in at Toulon

Mon, 14 Oct 2013 12:36
Large toulon line out.jpg630 Large toulon v clermont4 Large chris masoe toulon

Toulon skipper Chris Masoe singled out European Cup debutant Ali Williams for special praise after his side kicked-off the defence of their European title.

Toulon skipper Chris Masoe singled out European Cup debutant Ali Williams for special praise after his side kicked-off the defence of their European title.

Masoe knows all about the impact the 77-times capped Williams can make following his playing days alongside him in the All Blacks pack and he is delighted to see him now plying his trade in the south of France.

The 32-year-old Williams was Toulon's leading line-out forward in the 51-28 bonus point win over Glasgow Warriors in and the second highest tackler in the team to Masoe with seven.

Packing down alongside Springbok legend Bakkies Botha he was able to provide real power in a second row boasting 151 caps and almost every major title in the world game.

"Ali Williams is a huge addition to our line-out and we now have some quality players that add some edge to the team. Ali brought a little bit of what we used to do with the All Blacks - he brought his touch and his intensity in the line-out," said Masoe.

"We had it before, but he definitely adds some momentum. We had a good scrum and a good line-out in the first half, which was our plan to help us score tries.

"We have even greater depth in the squad than last year. We may even be slightly better off than last year.

"It's a step up, but the competition is tough. It might be a bit of worry for the other teams, but we're happy about that, it's a good thing!"

As well as blooding Williams, South African loose forward Juan Smith and Australian wing Drew Mitchell on the European stage, Toulon also had new recruit Bryan Habana watching on the touchline. He could come into the reckoning for his debut in the second round game in Cardiff on Saturday.

Masoe has good memories of the Welsh capital having won the first of his 20 New Zealand caps against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in 2005.

Travelling to the Arms Park to face the Blues on the back of a bonus point win will also give his side belief they can repeat their victory at the same venue in last year's Pool stages.

"Overall we're satisfied with the win over Glasgow. It was the first game of the European Cup and we got a win with the bonus point," said Masoe.

"We're obviously a bit disappointed with the second half. We talked at half-time about not letting go and being ruthless, but we did switch off a bit after the break.

"Bit credit to Glasgow, they can play some great rugby. We can't forget that they have 80% of the Scotland team."
 

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
La Rochelle 3 3 0 0 15
Ulster 3 1 0 2 8
Wasps 3 1 0 2 6
Harlequins 3 0 0 3 1
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 3 3 0 0 14
Saracens 3 2 0 1 10
Ospreys 3 1 0 2 8
Northampton Saints 3 0 0 3 1
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 3 3 0 0 14
Exeter Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Montpellier 3 1 0 2 8
Glasgow Warriors 3 0 0 3 1
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 3 2 1 0 11
Castres 3 1 1 1 7
Leicester Tigers 3 1 0 2 6
Racing Metro 3 1 0 2 6
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Toulon 3 3 0 0 12
Bath 3 2 0 1 9
Scarlets 3 1 0 2 7
Treviso 3 0 0 3 3