Sam Williams, who is heading to the Canberra Raiders next season, is eying an English Super League appearance after helping Catalan Dragons to victory.
Australian match-winner Sam Williams is eyeing up a shot at the English Super League grand final after Catalan Dragons kept their bid alive in dramatic fashion.
The French outfit dumped former champions Leeds out of the competition at the first play-off hurdle, courtesy of scrum-half Williams’s late try for a 24-20 away win on Saturday.
It was the 23-year-old’s second score of the afternoon, while former Newcastle Knight Zeb Taia and Kiwi forward Louis Anderson also dotted down for the visitors.
However, Williams was only afforded the opportunity to snatch the winning try after Leeds wing Tom Briscoe fumbled in front of his own try-line.
Williams, who will join Canberra Raiders in the NRL next season, was pleased to avenge defeat by Leeds earlier in the year – but more interested in looking forward to a potential grand final.
“It was sitting in my mind a little bit but we learnt from that and that’s important,” he said after French club Catalan’s first win at Leeds’s Headingley ground at the 10th time of asking.
“We are a team that is growing and hopefully we can take that forward for another couple of weeks.”
As for his crucial score, Williams added: “At that time of the game everyone is pretty desperate.
“I just wanted to get on the ball and it just happened with a bit of dew on the ground you can slide over.
“That is as good a way as you can finish the game but we have got more to do now.
“You want to win Premierships and we are in a position where we can do it. There were a few people writing us off but we’ve come here and we’ve got a win.
“We’re a pretty focused group and I hope we can do it again next week.”
Leeds coach Brian McDermott said his side did not deserve to come out on top.
“We weren’t good enough at any period of that game to win it,” he said. “I didn’t think Catalans were great either but they were dogged throughout and exploited a couple of defensive weaknesses.
“They scored the try off Tom’s error but that’s not where the game was lost at all. We had at least another two defensive blunders and mediocre attack.”
Wigan boss Shaun Wane had few complaints with the way his side tore apart Huddersfield on their way to the semi-finals.
The reigning Super League champions ran in 10 tries, including scores from Australian-born back Dan Sarginson and former North Queensland Cowboy Matty Bowen, in a 57-4 triumph.
“I just wanted to win, whether it was by one point or 50 points, but the manner we did it pleased me,” said Wane. “I’ll sleep well.
“I thought our middles were dominant and we attacked really crisply. I’m not going to get carried away but if we compete the way we did and we keep that energy, we will trouble teams.”
Much like the Giants, Castleford were well-beaten – 41-0 by League Leaders’ Shield winners St Helens.
Former Sydney Roosters forward Mose Masoe was among the scorers as St Helens ran riot after half-time on Friday and they will head into the semi-finals in good spirit.