Originally Posted by Francis
How much praise does Jonny deserve for England's success in this world cup?
You just know if England win people will be all like, "He lit up the world cup like last time etc." But in all honesty, I think he hasn't been that influential in England's success. His kicking hasn't been great... I think he's kicking at about 60% and he's making the goals that any world class kicker from any side can kick. His general play has been pretty poor... England can't get a try! Admittedly his defence has been awesome as always.
It just bugs me how everytime I hear about England winning it's "Wilkinson does it again!" or "Wilkinson kicks his side to victory". That's hardly the case. I give him all the credit in the world for that drop-goal against France, but he took about five shots at drop-goal before that which missed. His biggest contribution has been kicking penalty goals which aren't too hard. Granted I think his mere presence on the field is invaluable.
I just wish people would talk about the pack more often. I wish they'd talk about the tight five and how the loosies are playing well. This world cup belongs to England's forwards IMO. I love Jonny and think he's probably one of the ten best fly-halves in rugby history. It's just irritating me how he's getting all the praise when he's playing below his best. I wish they'd praise the team as a whole.
I rarely disagree with what you've got to say Francis, and this is no different. Excellent post.
Unfortunately it's the way of things now that he only has to contribute in the standard way you would expect of the team goalkicker and he'll always be given the lion's share of the credit. Then again, if it helps win England the world cup, I don't think his team mates will care too much about who gets the media hype.