Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Youngs sees room for improvement

Tom Youngs made his Lions Test debut on Saturday

England hooker Tom Youngs has no doubt there is much more to come from the British and Irish Lions as they build towards potential Test series glory against Australia.

The Lions headed to Melbourne on Monday, where victory next Saturday would end a 16-year wait for a series success. They face a final tour midweek game against Melbourne Rebels on Tuesday, and then it will be all systems go for a squad that flew south from Queensland on the back of a gripping 23-21 first Test triumph.

"We all understand and realise there's still much more to come from this side," said Youngs, following his Lions Test debut. "We didn't play to our full potential on Saturday, but we still managed to win the game. That gives us such a boost heading into the second Test."

He added: "Believe me, we have learnt so much from Saturday. We didn't play all that well, but we dug out a win. We all know we can take our game to another level."

The Lions know they would have come unstuck had it not been for Wallabies substitute Kurtley Beale missing a final-minute penalty after he slipped at the point of impact.

"It was a remarkable night, but my heart was in my mouth at the end. I think we all felt the same way," Youngs added. "We were a bit naive at times, and we didn't adapt well enough to how the referee (New Zealander Chris Pollock) was handling the game. That is something we will obviously need to work on.

"I don't really know what was happening with the referee. They all handle these matches differently, and we will need to review the tape again. But at the end of the day, we won the game, and that's all that matters.

"They are a very good side and they showed what they can do. Regardless of who is injured, Saturday is going to be another tough match. We just need to ensure we play much better. I couldn't really look at the end. I was just thinking, 'miss, miss'.

"I was sat next to Adam Jones on the bench, and I just heard him shout, 'he's slipped, he's slipped'. At the moment we knew we had won, it was a tremendous feeling.

"We go into the second Test with momentum behind us. We are always looking to improve and get better, and hopefully we can put that into practice in Melbourne."

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