Tony Williams is adamant his best NRL seasons are ahead of him after returning to his barnstorming best in Canterbury’s controversial win over St George Illawarra.
Williams’ bizarre role in Will Hopoate’s crucial second half try garnered plenty of post-game headlines, but so did the stellar performance of the man known affectionately as “T-Rex” in his return from a month in reserve grade.
The off-contract 27-year-old’s future is uncertain after four frustratingly inconsistent seasons at Belmore.
Williams is unlikely be at the Bulldogs beyond this year, and interest among the other NRL clubs is said to be lukewarm. But the former representative forward believes he still has plenty to offer.
“I know for a fact that’ll I only get better,” he said.
“The last few years I’ve dropped away from what my strengths were. I know they’re still in there and the Dragons game was a glimpse into what I can still do.
“I’d love to remain here but it’s a business and whatever happens, happens. I just have to do the best for myself and my family.”
After only earning a reprieve from a month in reserve grade due to an injury to Adam Elliott, Williams conceded he had let his long-term mentor Hasler down.
“100 per cent I did. I know that. I would be stupid not to think that. I know I have let him down,” he said.
“Not purposely but just in ways of how I’ve played. I’m not making excuses, I just haven’t turned up and I reckon my performance (against the Dragons) was probably the best game I’ve ever played for the club.
“It took a while to repay the faith. Maybe a bit too late. But I’m just happy I get to play with my brothers again and that’s all that matters at the moment.”
Williams is confident he can continue to be a part of Hasler’s 2016 premiership plans.
“I see him as my father figure and mentor. Say what you will about him, he’s been there for me my whole career. Des knows me back to front and it would’ve been frustrating for him to see how I struggled.
“My performance against the Dragons would’ve been a relief to him – I think he was really happy for me and for what I did.”