Youngs eyes fast start
Ben Youngs told skysports.com that England will be aiming for a flying start against Australia on Saturday.
Last Updated: 10/11/10 9:58am
Scrum-half Ben Youngs told skysports.com that England will be aiming for a fast start against Australia on Saturday as they bid to put down a marker ahead of next year's World Cup.
England made a sluggish start against New Zealand last Saturday as they found themselves 14-0 down after just 20 minutes and went in at half time trailing 17-3.
Although they improved in the second half, they could never close that gap against the world's best side, and Youngs says they will be determined not to make the same mistake twice as they kick-off against the Wallabies.
"We're obviously disappointed in the start we made to Saturday's game," Youngs told skysports.com. "You can't give a side like New Zealand anything and we let them have a head start.
"Giving the best team in the world easy points at the start of the game won't win you anything, especially when they have Dan Carter there who can kick almost anything you give him.
"Without doubt we're a bit disappointed, but there were plenty of positives at the same time and hopefully we can address the things we didn't get right this weekend and put them right against Australia.
"This week we're concentrating on getting out of the blocks first, don't show too much respect and get after them. I think we did it for 60 minutes of the game but for the first 20 against New Zealand we didn't, and this weekend we want to replicate that for 80 minutes."
Youngs played on the tour of Australia this summer, and started the win in Sydney, and he hopes to replicate that result at Twickenham on Saturday.
"It'll be my third time playing Australia and I'm really looking forward to it. England versus Australia in any sport is a fantastic occasion so I'm really excited and the guys want to put right what went wrong last weekend."
Australia beat Wales in Cardiff last weekend, and although they struggled at times in the forwards their sparkling back-line is still a huge threat, while England's main downfall against New Zealand was a lack of cutting edge.
England bossed matters in the scrum against the All Blacks but did not make the most of it, and with the hosts again expected to dominate the Aussie pack, Youngs says they will be looking for better attacks from the backs.
"We've all had a good look at that (Wales game), they almost looked a little bit fatigued but at the same time they're world class, they've got fantastic backs, a great back row and good line-out forwards.
"I'd like to think I'll have some good ball to work with, we certainly dominated them in the forwards and scrum last time, but they've got a great back row. They've got world class backs and we've got to try and starve them of possession.
"We probably had the ball in the 22 a few times against New Zealand and didn't come away with any points; sometimes that's due to decisions you're making and other times it's just poor execution.
"That's something we're working on. The pack are so dominant if we can just get that cutting edge and execution amongst the backs then that will get us more wins than losses."
With a World Cup coming up next year Youngs knows it is important to make a statement early, and on a personal level despite his run of games he is far from settled as England's regular scrum-half.
"We're all aware that the World Cup is just around the corner, people are going to be looking at that and it all starts now, we need to put down a good marker against these teams.
"If you ever think you're the regular nine then you'll lose your shirt quicker than you can blink, I've just got to keep playing as hard and as well as I can. I've got to play consistently well and play as well for my country as I do for my club.
"International rugby is definitely a step up. I think my general skills are there, it's just guys are more aware of you and things like that, you have to be more aware and try to make the breaks when they're there and not try and force it."
Tickets for the Investec International match between England and Samoa on Saturday 20 November at Twickenham are available from £25 for adults and £10 for under 16s via www.rfu.com/tickets or by calling 0844 8472492.