Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 10 July 2014

Youngs demands improvement

Ben Youngs

England may have taken a giant step towards the Grand Slam with Saturday's 17-9 victory over France, but that did not stop Ben Youngs from blasting his team-mates.

The Leicester scrum-half was disappointed with his own game and he demanded higher standards across the board after an error-strewn performance.

Youngs said: "A win against the French is priceless, especially against a very good French side that came here to dominate and bully us and they simply didn't do so. But some guys are disappointed with their personal performances, me included. We demand high standards."

He added: "There were a lot of us frustrated at half-time and getting a bit angry with each other. I gave the forwards a bit of a rollicking.

"I was running into spaces and there were holes around me and no-one was running off me. It was a little frustrating because you think what the hell are you doing?"

"It is pretty simple. If I run out and the bloke comes to tackle there is usually a hole on my shoulder. We have to make sure our guys start reading that otherwise I will be getting even more frustrated."

Youngs was not the only player to react critically, with fly-half Toby Flood suggesting England's confidence may even have taken a knock by the performance.

But they should also remember how far this team have come in a short space of time.

This victory was a step forward for a side who failed to live with South Africa's physicality in the autumn.

"Against the Springboks we got bullied and lost the game. This time we came out on top, which shows we are learning to deal with different game plans and styles," Youngs said.

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