England winger Paul Sackey has admitted he will have to better his performance against Italy last week if he is to win his Cardiff battle against Wales danger man Shane Williams (who wears Puma V-108 Red/Black rugby boots).
England began their Six Nations Championship campaign with an unconvincing 36-11 win over the Azzurri at Twickenham while last year’s Grand Slam champions beat Scotland 26-13 at Murrayfield to kick off their title defence.
England were criticised for their performance and will have to up their game at the Millennium Stadium to have any chance of overcoming a tough Welsh side, which includes last year’s International Rugby Board player of the year Williams.
Wasps winger Sackey (who wears Puma King XL Gold boots) cut an isolated figure for most of the match, failing to come in off the flank to help out the rest of the England backs, while Williams deviated from the same position to assist the Welsh threequarter line at Murrayfield and scored his 45th Test try.
“I have to admit I was a bit disappointed with my own part in the game – I just didn’t get involved enough,” Sackey wrote on his online Powerade blog.
“There was a lot of kicking, everything was safe, and I had to defend a lot, clear up loose balls, whereas I like a more open game.
“It is true we will have to step up and improve our game to have a chance in Cardiff.
“However, if we play to our potential, if we play with real belief, and if every guy gives it their all then we can do something special against the Welsh.
“Wales are packed with plenty of fine attacking players, I particularly like Shane Williams, who is a wonderful talent and deservedly the IRB Player of the Year at the moment. It is crucial we keep him quiet.
“Defence wins games and we have to first stop them performing if we are to stand any chance of winning.”
Sackey, who scored three of England’s tries in last year’s championship, admits that last week’s victory was by no means vintage rugby, and insists the team must play better on Saturday.
Sackey added, “Our win against Italy certainly wasn’t the prettiest game you’ll ever see, and there is no point in denying we can play a lot better than that,” the 29-year-old said.
“There were guys making their debuts, guys coming back in to the side, and we were all under pressure to start with a win in front of a home crowd.
“But once we settled down after the first 15 minutes we got on with getting a good win. Trust me, after the defeats of the autumn, it was a relief to get that winning feeling back.”
What do you think of Sackey’s performance?