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
Saturday 21 June 2014
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."
Wayne Rooney is Premier League's richest footballer with £72million worth but Lewis Hamilton leads the Sunday Times Rich List
Memphis Depay to Manchester United: Louis van Gaal faces difficult task as Liverpool hold 'secret' meeting with transfer target
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Manchester City vs Aston Villa live: Latest score and updates as Sergio Aguero goal gives City the lead plus Watford promoted to Premier League
Liverpool transfer news: Brendan Rodgers reveals transfer plans to sign a new striker to put Daniel Sturridge's future into doubt
- 1 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 2 How to turn off/stop 'seen by' on Facebook: Disable it to make your chats seem less passive aggressive
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
- 5 Buckingham Palace guard who attacked passers-by in 'most most violent piece of CCTV footage' police officer had seen walks free
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Katie Hopkins on LBC: Listen to caller taking The Sun columnist to task over migrant comments
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election