Youngs: We will blow them away in first 20 min­utes

The Daily Telegraph - Rugby World Cup - - Sport: Rugby World Cup 2015 - By Gavin Mairs RUGBY NEWS COR­RE­SPON­DENT

Eng­land in­tend to “blow Aus­tralia away” with a fe­ro­cious open­ing quar­ter to tonight’s do-or-die World Cup match at Twick­en­ham, with scrum-half Ben Youngs warn­ing they in­tend to give the Wal­la­bies “a rea­son to quit”.

Youngs in­sists that Eng­land will not be daunted by the im­mense pres­sure on Stu­art Lan­caster’s side as they at­tempt to avoid the ig­nominy of be­com­ing the first World Cup hosts to crash out of the tour­na­ment at the pool stages.

In­stead the Le­ices­ter scrum-half vowed that it would be Aus­tralia, not Eng­land, who would feel the heat as the home side draw con­fi­dence from back-to-back vic­to­ries over the Wal­la­bies.

A de­feat tonight would not end Aus­tralia’s hopes of reach­ing the quar­ter-fi­nals as they still have to play Wales at Twick­en­ham next Satur­day. For Eng­land, in con­trast, it is win or bust, and Youngs be­lieves that will give Lan­caster’s side the men­tal edge. “Aus­tralia have po­ten­tially got a rea­son to quit to­mor­row,” said Youngs, who has won all three games he has started against Aus­tralia at scrum-half, in­clud­ing the 26-17 vic­tory at Twick­en­ham last Novem­ber.

“They can go to Wales and get a re­sult. They can af­ford to lose a game. We can’t and we’ve got to make sure we give them a rea­son to quit. We’ve got to make sure we come out for the game and, in that first 20 min­utes, we blow them away. We’ve got to come out with a real in­ten­sity and edge to our game, phys­i­cal­ity. Don’t match what they bring. We’ve got to go above that: above and be­yond.”

Youngs, who had to pass a fit­ness test on Wed­nes­day on an an­kle in­jury he sus­tained against Wales to take his place in the start­ing XV, added: “The re­silience in the team is the fact that we can­not quit. They’ve got a rea­son that po­ten­tially they can af­ford to lose one. We can’t. We’ve got to give them a rea­son to quit and that’s how we go about our game. The first 20 min­utes, give them a rea­son to fold.”

Youngs’ broad­side came af­ter for­mer Eng­land coach Sir Clive Wood­ward ques­tioned Aus­tralia’s rugby in­tel­li­gence in his Daily Mail col­umn by in­sist­ing the Wal­la­bies were “not the bright­est team”.

Michael Cheika, the Aus­tralia head coach, laughed off those claims, but in­sisted his side would have the emo­tional in­tel­li­gence to win the game.

“Mr Wood­ward’s right, I only got 300 out of 500 in my high-school cer­tifi­cate. My mother wasn’t happy with the re­sults,” said Cheika, a self-made mil­lion­aire from a fash­ion dis­tri­bu­tion com­pany. “She begged me to study harder. But some­how I got through, I don’t know how – fluked it, I sup­pose.

“Some­times it’s not in­telli- gence but emo­tional in­tel­li­gence that helps in this game – it’s not the IQ it’s the EQ. So hope­fully we’ve got a bit of EQ amongst us. We are lov­ing our time to­gether and we are do­ing our best for our coun­try.

“We want to en­joy our time play­ing the game, not frivolously; we just want to put a smile on our faces. We know the pain and how dif­fi­cult the game is go­ing to be.”

Danny Cipri­ani, who nar­rowly missed out on a place in Eng­land’s 31-man squad, stoked the fires yesterday by in­sist­ing in a blog for Paddy Power that not one Aus­tralia player would get into the cur­rent English XV.

Adam Ash­ley-Cooper, the Wal­la­bies wing, re­sponded with a cut­ting re­buke to the Sale Sharks player. “It’s just nice that Danny is tweet­ing about some­one other than him- self,” said Ash­ley-Cooper, who will win his 110th cap tonight. “He’s a good bloke and I en­joy his self­ies a lot. He can say what he likes, he wouldn’t ever be a part of our team.”

And would the 31-year-old take any sat­is­fac­tion from knock­ing Eng­land out of the World Cup in the pool stages with a vic­tory tonight?

“The sat­is­fac­tion and re­lief I get from play­ing is al­ways when we win, re­gard­less of who we play,” Ash­ley-Cooper added. “We’re play­ing to rep­re­sent our coun­try and that means mil­lions to peo­ple back home. That’s enough to play for. Tra­di­tion­ally there’s al­ways been a great ri­valry with Eng­land.

“It’s been there through­out my ca­reer and I’ve re­ally en­joyed that bat­tle, par­tic­u­larly at Twick­en­ham. It will be the same here to­mor­row.”

Un­afraid: Aus­tralia’s Kane Dou­glas (right) and Matt Toomua yesterday

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