Cook praises Cardiff’s Williams duo

Date published: September 5 2016

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Cardiff Blues lock Macauley Cook has paid tribute to his team-mates following Saturday's 34-16 PRO12 opening day victory over Edinburgh.

Cook had special praise for Nick Williams and Tomos Williams, who both crossed the whitewash for the home side, as the Cardiff Blues secured a bonus point victory in the first league game of the season. 

New Zealand-born number eighy, Williams, produced an impressive performance on his competitive debut for Wales' Capital Region, after arriving from Ulster over the summer and it caught Cook's attention.

"Nick is an excellent player – we all knew that from having played against him for years while he was at Ulster," he told Cardiff Blues' official website.

"He's incredibly fit for his age, he trains hard and always looks sharp on the training pitch. I've been very impressed with him. His carrying work is excellent.

"All the new boys have done very well over the summer. They've come in, worked very hard in pre-season, and it showed today."

Scrum-half Tomos Williams also crossed in the second half to score his first competitive try in a Cardiff Blues shirt, clinching the bonus point on the way. 

Now Cook looks forward to seeing Williams' contribution to the team during the coming season. 

"Tomos is also an excellent player, and still young," he added.

"He's got good pace, thinks very quickly and has a great set of skills. It will be exciting to see what he'll be able to offer the team in the next few weeks."

Cook also expressed his delight at the team performance, despite the tough conditions and it determined to make Cardiff Arms Park a fortress.

"We spoke before the game about needing to start the game well, and we did that today," he said.

"Last season, we were a bit slow from the kick off, before settling into games towards the second half. But today we managed to start well, and carry that momentum into the second half.

"Considering the weather, the set-piece was very strong today. There were a lot of positives to take from that game, but also stuff we can work on moving forward.

"It's very important that we create a fortress here at the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park. At the back end of last season we started to do this, and our defence grew stronger at that point. We defended well against Edinburgh as well.

"It's becoming a tough place for teams to visit. We only lost here twice in the league last year, but we want to improve on that this season."

Cardiff Blues' attention now turns to Friday's clash against Munster at Irish Independent Park, and Cook expects a tough trip to Cork. 

"It's always hard to go out to Ireland to play," he explained.

"We know what to expect – the crowd is going to be on our backs, the pack will be strong and the backs will be running good lines. 

"We'll be going into the game as underdogs, but we have to concentrate on our own game. We can go into the game with confidence after this result."

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