Rugby World Cup heroics against England and the All Blacks plus victory over Scotland were soon forgotten as Ireland ran in six tries to evoke painful memories. Williams insisted the Wales team would not let this setback halt their progress.
"We're really disappointed and no doubt we will take a bit of a hammering over the next few days, but we've come too far to take a step back now," he said. "A lot of people will see the score and read the headlines which might well add to the pressure on us but, love it or hate it, that's the way the game is.
"You have to take the rough with the smooth and we will take the rough because we are professionals. Just as we didn't want to be built up after the win over Scotland we don't want to keep reading about how bad we are after this defeat! We have total trust in each other and the management. We will learn from this and prepare for France."
The game was a huge anticlimax especially for the estimated 30,000 Welsh fans who flocked to Dublin on a wave of optimism. Flashes of their last visit to Dublin two years ago, when a 54-10 defeat cost Graham Henry his job, flooded back as Ireland threatened to break loose.
"I know the country was excited but this wasn't a 'reality check' for the squad because we have always kept everything in perspective," said Williams. "The nature of the game in Wales means we are built up and then put down pretty quickly. The squad never blew things out of proportion. We knew we hadn't yet played to our full potential so we didn't rest on our laurels.
"Hopefully this will not be too much of a downer. We always knew it was a long road back but we have been making huge improvements."
Meanwhile, Williams reckons his Cardiff Blues team mate, Tom Shanklin, may have played his way into a starting role against France with his two try salvo from the bench against Ireland.
"Tom showed all the hunger and desire to make a huge impact on the game," said Williams. "He has been frustrated at not starting, just as anyone would be, but he really took his chance well. It was great to have him out there."