British and Irish Lions: Tom Youngs hails Mako Vunipola for response

Last Updated: 01/07/13 9:06am

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British and Irish Lions hooker Tom Youngs has praised Mako Vunipola for bouncing back from a stuttering start against Australia in the second Test in Melbourne.

Vunipola endured a torrid opening at the Etihad Stadium as he twice conceded penalties at the scrum.

However the Lions regrouped and were able to gain parity at the set-piece as the match progressed - although Australia were able to clinch a series-levelling 16-15 victory.

And Youngs believes compatriot Vunipola deserves credit for the way he responded to his earlier issues.

"It was good that we turned it around," 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.

"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 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."

Gutting

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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