Having become England’s most-capped scrum-half in the breathless draw with Scotland at Twickenham, Ben Youngs spoke to RugbyPass about how England went from ruthless to toothless over eighty minutes of an extraordinary game.
“It was bizarre, wasn’t it?”, said a clearly confused Youngs. He continued, “Hugely disappointing gifting them points in the manner that we did. We’ve got to work this out ourselves really, it’s hard to put my finger on it right now.”
England had led by 24 points at half time only to find themselves battling in the dying minutes to salvage a draw, which they managed through replacement George Ford’s try. It begged the question whether Scotland’s comeback was in part fuelled by English complacency.
Youngs said, “Maybe that slipped into some of the mindset of our boys. I’m just really disappointed at the manner that we gave momentum so easily back to them. The tries that we gifted them at times… Right now, it’s very frustrating, there’s no denying that. I’m hugely frustrated along with all the other boys cos we’re looking at ourselves in the mirror here thinking what have we done, really.”
Head coach Eddie Jones said in his press conference that England are suffering from a lack of mental fortitude to see out matches that they seem to be comfortably in control of.
Youngs said, “You can’t be that ruthless in the first half and then come out and be so toothless second half and that’s ultimately what we were. We sat on it and we thought that the job was done and it was far from done. At test level, teams are going to come out and we were too loose, too flippant with the ball, it’s just disappointing.”
Youngs continued, “There’ll be a lot of reflection on this one. As I said it’s hugely frustrating. I can’t quite work out right now why, why it’s happened but it has. We’ve got to figure out why we keep gifting teams momentum when you’re in complete control of the game, like we were – completely in control of it at home.”
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