Rugby - Youngs hails Vunipola impact

Tom Youngs has praised his front-row colleague Mako Vunipola for helping to turn around the British and Irish Lions' second Test scrummaging fortunes against Australia.

PA Sport
Rugby - Youngs hails Vunipola impact

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Mako Vunipola was penalised twice during scrums in the first half of the second Test

England prop Vunipola endured a torrid opening, twice conceding penalties as Australia gained an edge in the critical set-piece battle. But the Lions regrouped and gave the Wallabies plenty to think about up front during a second-half revival, even if Australia edged a nerve-shredding encounter 16-15.

"It was good that we turned it around," Lions hooker Youngs said. "A few decisions didn't go our way. Credit to Mako, he stuck with it. We changed a few things around and got on top with it."

He added: "You have to talk to him, say 'get rid of it'. It's like me with a bad lineout throw - if you have one you have to get on with it. Luckily, we got the right thing in the end.

"They (Australia scrum) just caught us a few times. As soon as you lose the hit you are under pressure straightaway. There is a lot of weight going to come through that way. But we got it sorted out and improved.

"He (referee Craig Joubert) wanted Mako to go closer. He didn't want anyone to go on the floor. You have to adjust to it.

"Every referee has his way of reffing it. We do a lot of review on it. You can have all that, but when you get on the pitch it can go either way and you have to adjust as quickly as possible, which isn't always easy."

Leicester forward Youngs refused to be deflated after the Lions blew what most pundits observed was their best chance of winning the three-game series. Australia, as in 2001 when they fought back from 1-0 down to level the series, will now head to Sydney as favourites.

"It's very gutting to lose a game like that, but the last two Tests have come down to the last minute. It is not nice to be on the losing end of it," Youngs added. "You go flat on Saturday night, but today we bring it back together again. It's nice to have a break, the time to ourselves to go off and do a few things.

"It lets the pressure go off a bit, then we build it up again. It's not completely possible (to forget the build-up) but it's nice to have no training Monday and Tuesday. We will be raring to go, going into the weekend. It (losing) is tough, but it's professional sport. One team is going to be feeling down at the end of every game. That's why we love the game so much and enjoy sport."

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