Cigarettes and missed kicks: Cardiff Blues v Leicester shootout 10 years on

Martyn Williams

Martyn Williams battles to recall the precise subtleties of his doomed job in expert rugby association’s first since forever shootout.

He has two Thousand Pummels, 100 Ridges tops and three visits with the English and Irish Lions to his name, but despite everything he gets got some information about his miss which cost Cardiff Blues their Heineken Glass semi-last against Leicester.

It is currently a long time since that horrifying annihilation, and the points of interest are somewhat cloudy, so Williams has been diving over into the documents.

“I’ve watched it back a couple of times and chuckled about it,” Williams tells the BBC Scrum V Digital broadcast.

“It was so strange at the time, I don’t generally have a decent memory.”

On Sunday, 3 May 2009, under a heating sun at what is presently Realm Arena, Cardiff Blues and Leicester Tigers played out an epic 26-26 attract a Heineken Container semi-last which entered additional time.

Neither one of the sides had much left in the tank and, emptied in the wake of battling pull out of a 14-point shortage, a few Blues players were negligent of the looming shootout.

“No one realized what was going on in light of the fact that we hadn’t spoken about it,” says Williams.

“We’d spoken about additional time, yet not what occurs after. [Referee] Alain Rolland revealed to us we’d need to pick our five kickers.”

‘Dupuy was having a fag’

Leicester appeared somewhat more arranged for this projection.

Their French scrum-half Julien Dupuy had kicked two transformation and four punishments before he was supplanted in the 74th moment of the typical time.

In any case, with only two minutes left of additional time and the possibility of a shootout approaching, he was permitted to come back to the field as a blood substitution for focus Dan Hipkiss, who might not have been among their first decisions to take a kick.

“Julien Dupuy, and this is God’s straightforward’s reality, was sat in the evolving room, average French, in his shorts having a fag and they needed to proceed to get him back on,” says Williams.

The Tigers reintroduced Dupuy in the nick of time for the shootout, where he would agree with his stance’s first kick.

As footballers had been accomplishing for quite a long time previously, the two arrangements of players assembled close to the midway line for the shootout, exceptional scenes in rugby association.

One by one, players from either side would need to have a spot-kick at the objective, on the 22-meter line before the posts.

First up was the Blues’ Ben Blair, who had been kicking splendidly from unquestionably progressively troublesome positions throughout the evening and he properly stroked the ball over with negligible complaint.

For reasons unknown, the television cameras panned to Williams, who was not recorded among the Blues’ picked five kickers. Was this an indication of what might be on the horizon?

Previous Britain fly-half Stuart Barnes, Sky’s co-analyst that day, assumed so.

“This straight before the posts schedule, you believe it will correct an unpleasant toll on a non-kicker,” he said.

“Weight is an interesting thing. I sense anguish and misfortune.”

The authorities securely explored their kicks: Blair, Nicky Robinson, Leigh Halfpenny and Ceri Sweeney for the Blues; Dupuy, Sam Vesty and Geordan Murphy for Leicester.

The first to squint was Tigers back Johne Murphy, pulling his exertion wide and displaying Blues wing Tom James with an opportunity to win it.

“In preparing, he’d thump them over from 50 meters. Whale of a footballer,” says Williams.

“I thought this was clinched. And afterward he missed and I thought ‘What happens now?'”

James’ miss implied the shootout was currently in an abrupt passing circumstance. On the off chance that one side scored and the other missed, the amusement was finished.

It was down to the non-authority kickers – the “least skillful backs like Richie Rees and Tom Shanklin” as Williams jokes – or the advances, who might never tackle objective amid a match.

Shanklin and Rees – just barely – were effective, similar to Leicester’s Aaron Mauger and Craig Newby.

Presently the ball was in Williams’ court. The open-side flanker had never had a spot-kick amid his distinguished profession at the same time, as a generally skillful forward, he was an eager member.

‘It wasn’t nerves’ – Williams

“I sponsored myself. I’d kicked for Pontypridd youth, in all honesty, I was alright at kicking,” he says.

Barnes appeared to concur, saying in analysis: “This would be the cruelest thing if Martyn Williams was to miss it. A splendid footballer, I state Martyn Williams gets it.”

He didn’t. Williams snared his exertion wide, an awful miss-kick.

“I can completely say it wasn’t nerves,” the previous Grains skipper says.

“Everyone says it was nerves, yet I didn’t have sufficient energy to consider it. It occurred so rapidly, I didn’t get a handle on the hugeness of the circumstance.”

When he had missed, it before long unfolded on Williams, who secured his face with his hands.

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