Youngs: I played like an idiot
March 19, 2011
Ben Youngs is sin-binned by referee Bryce Lawrence during England's defeat to Ireland © Getty Images
Ben Youngs has admitted he "played like an idiot" during England's defeat to Ireland as their Grand Slam hopes were shattered in Dublin.
The Leicester scrum-half was sin-binned in the 36th minute at the Aviva Stadium for petulantly hurling the ball into the crowd to stop Ireland taking a quick lineout after Toby Flood had executed a try-saving tackle on David Wallace.
Ireland's 24-8 victory ruined England's hopes of completing a first Six Nations clean sweep since 2003, the hosts running riot in a contest they dominated throughout. Youngs accepted it was far from his finest performance but has vowed that he and the team will bounce back.
"I'm so disappointed," said the 21-year-old. "I've played like an idiot but I have to man up and take it on the chin. This is a good test of character. Let's see what I am made of. Hopefully I'll bounce back. I have some good guys around me who will help pull me through.
"We are a very strong unit and we'll come back better from this, I'll guarantee that. I will work hard to make sure it never happens again. It has happened and it is not easy to swallow but guys will come back and we'll be better for it. You only have to see what's happening in the rest of the world to realise this is just a game."
Youngs did not return after his sin-binning, but refused to blame referee Bryce Lawrence for the yellow card. He added in the Mail on Sunday: "What can I say? He's the boss [the referee] and if that's what he decides, that's what he decides. It came as a little bit of surprise to me, but what can I do?
"I've been done and I won't do it again. I have to face up to it. I should hopefully come back a stronger character. Obviously, I regret it - of course I do. If I knew what would happen I wouldn't have lobbed it in."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham