Few current Intrust Super Premiership players can be said to have more of a connection to their team than Sam Williams.
The Mounties halfback, who had been called into the Canberra Raiders' side for the opening five rounds of 2018, has a soft spot for the Raiders' and Mounties' system – so much so that he's now returned for three separate stints there. Speaking after his second game back in Mounties colours, Williams was happy to be home.
"Everyone wants to be in the NRL, but we've got a good club at Mounties," Williams told NSWRL.com.au. "They're good people and they're really good to us boys who come up from Canberra.
"You've got to be respectful to them and the effort they put into the club to give us an opportunity to play. It's important we come out here and bust our arse and try and win."
Match: Mounties v Magpies
Round 11 -
Venue: Henson Park
When Williams returned to the Mount Pritchard-based side last week, it was his first game since the grand final of the 2016 Intrust Super Premiership – a season in which he took out the competition's Player of the Year award. While the 27-year-old isn't yet at that level of dominance, he feels as though he's making progress.
"A bit scrappy last week," Williams admitted. "I was a bit disappointed but it was nice to get back today and just get back into the swing of things. It felt a lot better again today.
"It was one of those games last week (in the 34-20 loss to Newtown) – we nearly throw it in the bin and start again.
"It was pretty ordinary across the park and a few combinations just weren't happening so we didn't want to look into it too much. We wanted to move on from it."
A second-half lapse in Saturday's match against Wentworthville shows there is still room for improvement for Mounties – and with the side already leading the competition, that's ominous. Next week's top-of-the-table clash shapes as a major test for the Ryan Carr-coached side; Mounties will take on the Penrith Panthers from 3.15pm next Saturday at Panthers Stadium.