Youngs revels in try-scoring return
September 12, 2011
Youngs' try won the game for England © Getty Images
England's Ben Youngs was suitably delighted with his match-winning performance against the Pumas on Saturday which brought an end to a hard couple of months for the scrum-half.
The Leicester scrum-half underwent surgery at the end of May after suffering a knee injury during a wrestling session with Tigers team-mate Toby Flood. Youngs missed all three warm-up internationals but he returned to action off the bench against Argentina on Saturday - and turned the match in England's favour.
With England trailing 9-3 and unable to get a foothold in the game against the powerful Pumas, Youngs upped the tempo and scored then scored decisive try. "It's nice to know that you can bring something different," said Youngs, whose running game has been such a key factor of England's style over the last year. "It's been frustrating not playing. I just wanted to get out there, get my hands on the ball and just play some rugby, which I managed to do.
"We probably left it a little bit later than we would have liked but the important thing is we won. It doesn't matter if it's by one point or whatever, the winning is all that mattered. "We knew it was going to be a tough game. A lot of people didn't realise how tough it was going to be. The belief this team has, we knew we'd keep battling to the end."
England will prepare for their next challenge, against Georgia's ferocious forwards, in Queenstown after flying to the adventure holiday resort for a change of scenery. Some players have already been sampling the bungee swing and there are more adrenaline-fuelled activities planned for their day off today before the squad focus on tackling Georgia this Sunday.
The Georgians boast some of the most feared forwards in Europe and England need to be prepared for another war of attrition up front. Davit Khinchagishvili is rated by England hooker Steve Thompson, a former team-mate at Brive, as the best loose-head prop he has ever played.
Georgia's tight-head Davit Kubriashvili has been keeping Carl Hayman out of the Toulon side. "When I saw our group, I thought this is going to be a fantastic group for us because every game is going to be tough, especially up front," said defence coach Mike Ford. "Just like the Ireland (warm-up) game prepared us for Argentina, this Argentina game has prepared us for Georgia. They play Wednesday (against Scotland) so we'll have a real good look at them then.
"In the World Cup these teams raise themselves massively, to play above their level. This is what the World Cup does to you and looking at some of the results and performances thus far, you can see it's happening already. Teams are raising their game because it's a World Cup competition."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September