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?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions