Youngs turns up heat on Scots
September 27, 2011
Ben Youngs has looked back to something resembling his best form in New Zealand © Getty Images
England scrum-half Ben Youngs believe that the pressure is all on Scotland ahead of Saturday's crunch Rugby World Cup clash between the two great rivals in Auckland.
England sit top of Pool C after following up laboured wins over Argentina and Georgia with a far more encouraging 67-3 defeat of Romania in Dunedin at the weekend.
The Scots, meanwhile, are still reeling after suffering an agonising 13-12 defeat by the Pumas in Wellington, a result which means that they will have to beat their old enemy this weekend to have any hope of reaching the knockout stages. Consequently, Youngs believes it is England who will be able to play with the greater freedom at Eden Park.
"We're three from three and no other team's done that (in the pool)," he said. "We're the ones in control and the ones who should be confident, and rightly so.
"It's not arrogance, it's the fact we are playing well and we had a good result on the weekend. Scotland are the ones who've got to come out and play. We fully respect Scotland, they do have dangerous players.
"(But) We've been playing good attacking rugby. As long as we get that right it should be enough."
Youngs admitted, though, that the game will be of a greater intensity than any of their previous outings in New Zealand, including their tournament opener against the Pumas.
''It's England v Scotland. They'll be just as up for it as we will. They're going to throw everything at us and we'll do likewise to them,'' he said.
''We need to be more hungry than they'll be, we need to be more passionate than they'll be, we have to match them physically and better them. 'If we do that, we'll be in a good place.''
Scotland will no doubt take great encouragement from the fact that they caused England no end of problems during their 22-16 Six Nations defeat at Twickenham earlier this year, particularly at the breakdown, but Youngs feels that Martin Johnson's men have improved immeasurably in the interim.
''It's a World Cup and we've come on a huge amount as a team since we last played Scotland,'' he said. ''They pushed us really close at Twickenham. Max Evans scored at the end and we were lucky we got away with it at the end to eventually win the game.
''We learned a huge amount and I think we're in a great place as a squad. 'Discipline has been an area we have really targeted. We've been having a bit of trouble there. We have to be whiter than white and trust our defence.
''They have some very dangerous players but our defence has been very good. We have conceded one try in the last three games so there's no reason we can't let them have the ball and keep making our tackles.''
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