Sonny Bill Williams isn’t allowing the prospect of Friday’s semi-final being his last in New Zealand, or his connection to the Crusaders flood his thoughts.
Williams has signed a lucrative deal with Japanese club Wild Knights, and will return to rugby league after a season with them. Williams also excelled for the Crusaders last season, before making the shift to the Chiefs, further fueling the emotional elements of the semi-final in Hamilton.
However, the midfielder said none of those factors were burdening him.
‘I don’t want to get too emotionally attached to it, because it could be my last week here, but I’m just trying to turn all those emotions into motivation,” Williams said.
‘I want to come in, do all my work and try and build like I haven’t done it before – try and tick all those boxes. And then hopefully run out there on Friday night fizzing and just do my role really well.’
Williams warned of the Crusaders’ impressive play-off record as well as their experience. ‘The Crusaders have got internationals all over the field and are in really good form so we’re going to have to play better than we ever have,’ he said.
He added that one of the keys to success would be creating and taking chances. ‘That’s something we haven’t done in the last couple of weeks and that started against the Crusaders [in their last league-phase meeting] in that last five minutes when I didn’t pass the ball when we had a two-man overlap.
‘Just little things like that have crept into our game I guess and that’s why it’s been good to have these two weeks to assess ourselves and now know what we have to do.’