Aviva Premiership - Youngs hails 'possessed' Brits

Sun, 29 May 13:38:00 2011

England star Ben Youngs acclaimed Schalk Brits' "phenomenal" man-of-the-match performance for Saracens after Leicester failed in their quest for a third successive Premiership title.

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South African hooker Brits was at the heart of Saracens' memorable Twickenham triumph, creating the game's only try for wing James Short and proving a colossus in attack and defence. And his impact was not lost on Tigers scrum-half Youngs as seven-time Premiership champions Leicester began licking their wounds.

"Schalk Brits was just phenomenal, a man possessed," said Youngs. "If anything, he was probably the difference between the two sides."

He added: "Saracens fully deserved the win. They dominated us in the first half, taking their points, and we couldn't get the ball. We had no territory in that first 40 minutes, but we were still in the game at half-time. We just had to get hold of the ball and we got back on track, but I thought their defence was outstanding."

It proved a frustrating afternoon for Youngs, who was sin-binned just five minutes into the contest for illegally halting a Saracens attack.

"The referee is the boss. I have got a lot of respect for Wayne Barnes, he is a very good referee," he said. "I have no complaints. Whatever he decides, that goes. Whether I think it's right or wrong, it doesn't make a difference. He's the boss."

Leicester hammered away at Saracens' line during a frenzied finale, going through more than 30 phases, but Brits and company were not to be denied.

And Tigers were also left to reflect on two missed penalties in the third quarter from their England fly-half Toby Flood, who kicked six, yet could not match his opposite number Owen Farrell's 100% success-rate with the boot.

Leicester rugby director Richard Cockerill repeated his complaint that Flood's strike has suffered since working with England kicking coach Dave Alred last autumn.

"Floody went to England with a certain percentage and came back with a different one," said Cockerill. "He is not responsible for the result (against Saracens), but that whole issue with his kicking has been an issue since the autumn. We will see how it pans out after the World Cup.

PA Sport

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