Williams breathes easy about return
Returning Raiders halfback Sam Williams has confirmed he is a certain starter for Canberra this weekend after fully recovering from a collapsed lung suffered just three weeks ago.
Proving to be somewhat of a lucky charm having led the Raiders to wins in four of his five NRL games this season, Williams's return against the Broncos on Saturday will be a timely one considering the Green Machine has spent the past fortnight in the losers column.
Williams will wear pads around his torso as a safety precaution this weekend and fully expects to be targeted by the Broncos' big boppers – who are enjoying an amazing start to the season and sit in equal first at the top of the NRL Telstra Premiership ladder.
"Last week my body felt really good but obviously we decided to give it another week and take the conservative approach just to make sure the lung was healed, that it was 110 per cent and that there weren't any other complications," Williams said.
"In terms of pain you can't feel it and if you're going to go out there and think about what's happened in the past then you're probably not going to play well, so it's not a concern for me – I'm just ready to play. I participated in contact sessions this week to make sure it felt good and I was able to get through that alright.
"I get [targeted] most weeks too so nothing's different for me. If they are going to run down our channel then so be it. If there was concern then I wouldn't be playing. I want to go out there and play aggressively and get the mind not worrying about anything else other than what we're doing out on the field."
Williams is expecting a tough battle up against a Broncos team chock full of bruised and battered Origin representatives.
"They are a quality team the Broncos, we saw the depth they have on Monday night against the Knights. They had five or six players who were out and the other guys really lifted," Williams said.
"We know how good they are so it's important we show up with a good attitude and start the game fast. We have prepared like all their Origin players are going to play; if you're thinking anything different then you probably don't have the right mindset."
A halves battle against former teammate Anthony Milford looms too, though Williams preferred to speak about opposite number Ben Hunt who remains vital to the Broncos' winning chances.
"Ben Hunt has played for Australia and he just gets the team around well, he has a real good kicking game and a show-and-go to match," Williams said. "We need to make sure we're on top of him and make sure Tony [Milford] doesn't get much space either."