New Zealand vs England: 'We let ourselves down in the first half', admits Ben Youngs as England capitulate in Waikato to hand All Blacks 36-13 victory and Test series whitewash

Scrum-half recognises that England had a 'mountain to climb' following their poor performance in the opening 40 minutes

England scrum-half Ben Youngs admitted their first-half performance had been unacceptable as they went down 36-13 to New Zealand in Hamilton.

The All Blacks raced into a 29-6 lead at the break, and although England were significantly better in the second half, there was no way back from such a deficit and New Zealand wrapped up a 3-0 series whitewash.

"We let ourselves down and left ourselves with a mountain to climb," Youngs told Sky Sports. "Against New Zealand you can't leave yourself with such a huge chase and we paid the price."

Asked what went wrong, Youngs added: "I really don't know, we'll have to have a look at it. We pride ourselves on defence and spend a lot of time on it but the first half wasn't good enough. Whether it was individual mistakes or collectively we'll have to have a look but you can't give them that big a lead and expect to be in the game."

Harsh words - "probably unbroadcastable", according to Youngs - were exchanged at half-time before England came out much improved.

"They were honest words, this is an honest group," he added.

"The second half things came off a little bit more but the damage was done. We put in great performances before this but you'll remember how we did in the last game... Unfortunately today puts a dampener on what we did in the first games.

"It's just tough lessons against these boys. This is a young squad with a World Cup coming up and it's about getting more and more experience.

"Unfortunately you have to go through these games to get experience."

England head coach Stuart Lancaster admitted his own frustration at the Jekyll and Hyde performance but said it was important not to forget the positives on show.

"We were hugely disappointing in the first half," he said. "It's a high-quality All Blacks side but the first half was poor from us. I thought we showed tremendous character to come back in the second half and we created some great opportunities but unfortunately we didn't take them and we were beaten by the better side."

While making no excuses for the opening period, Lancaster believes the second half gives England a platform to build on going forward.

"I'll say I'm proud of the second-half performance and as an England team that's what we need to deliver," he said.

"There's a lot of be proud of and positive about because it was a young side out there.

"We want to be the best in the world and to do that you need to be there for 80 minutes, not 40 or 60. We're a long way towards that and in games like this you find out a lot about your players so I'm not going to emotionally overreact to one game."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review