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Thread: The Wilkinson factor

  1. #1
    Tim
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    The Wilkinson factor

    I decided to look at results of English fixtures against the top 4 other international sides in rugby, starting from November 24th 2001. I got all these results from planetrugby.com & I thought it was time to find out just how much a factor Wilkinson is to England and here are the results:

    England v South Africa, 24th Nov 2001, Twickenham:

    Eng 29 - S.A 9
    England 1 try - South Africa 0 try
    Wilkinson points: 21

    England v France, 2nd March 2002, Paris:

    France 20 - England 15
    France 2 tries - England 2 tries
    Wilkinson points: 5

    England v New Zealand, 9th Nov 2002, Twickenham:

    England 31 - N.Z 28
    England 3 tries - NZ 4 tries
    Wilkinson Points: 21

    England v Australia, 16th Nov 2002, Twickenham:

    England 32 - Australia 31
    England 2 tries - Australia 3 tries
    Wilkinson points: 22

    England v South Africa, 23 Nov 2002, Twickenham:

    England 53 - South Africa 3
    England 7 tries - South Africa 0
    Wilkinson points: 8

    England v France, 15 Feb 2003, Twickenham:

    England 25 - France 17
    England 1 try - France 3 tries
    Wilkinson points: 20

    England v New Zealand, 14th June 2003, Wellington:

    England 15 - N.Z 13
    England 0 tries - N.Z 1 try
    Wilkinson points: 15

    England v Australia, 21st June 2003, Melbourne:

    England 25 - Australia 14
    England 3 tries - Australia 1 try
    Wilkinson points: 10

    England v France, 30th August 2003, Marseille

    England 16 - France 17
    England 1 try - France 1 try
    Wilkinson absent.

    England v France, 6th September 2003, Twickenham

    England 45 - France 14
    England 5 tries - France 1 try
    Wilkinson points: 18

    England v South Africa, 18th October 2003, Perth:

    England 25 - South Africa 6
    England 1 try - South Africa 0 tries
    Wilkinson points: 20

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Now there have obviously been a couple of close games against other teams, namely Wales & Samoa..but really it comes down to performances against NZ, Aus, France & S.A

    Now in the 2 games that England lost in that list..Wilkinson either had very little influence with the boot or he did not play.
    In a number of those games you will notice that Wilkinson has scored around 3/4 of England's points in each match. e.g. 15 points against NZ in the 15-13 win at Wellington & 20 points against South Africa at Perth in their 25-6 win.

    England have also played a couple of games where tries tallied up more points than Wilkinsons boot.

    No wonder the guy is under so much pressure..yes occassionally England's backs will wake up & score tries, but there is no doubt that if he is having an off night England can become very beatable.

    You could argue that 6 of those matches could have gone either way...if for example England had a goal-kicker like Carlos Spencer, how many of those games would England still have won?
    Last edited by Tim; 12-11-2003 at 06:58 PM.

  2. #2
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Samuel_Vimes's Avatar
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    If, if, if.

    Face it, most goals are usually goaled anyway. Wilkinson is just a wee bit more accurate - say 6 or 7 points a game on average. OK, that's enough for the 2 Tests against the Wallabies and All Blacks last year, and also the Wellington Test, but still. Add to that that some drop goals could have been converted into tries if only England weren't so sure about Wilkinson kicking 3 points - so they don't take the chance and go for 5. And if England didn't have a world-beating fly-half, they'd have a good back-line or an exceptional scrum or something.
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    World Traveller Craig's Avatar
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    I think it was it is obvious without you pulling out the stats.

    If I had to pick between Wilkinson and Spencer, Wilkinson probably gets the nod for his goal kicking and he can kick off either foot and a good defender.

    It is a close second for Spencer, but he is better then anybody else when at running the ball and at unpredictability and be able to create something out of nothing.
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    Eyes not spreadsheets marc71178's Avatar
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    Add another to the list - France 7 (and they were lucky yo tget that particular score) England 24 (Wilkinson 24)

    So what if we never scored a try, we played the conditions perfectly, and thoroughly outplayed them!
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  5. #5
    Hall of Fame Member age_master's Avatar
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    Originally posted by marc71178
    Add another to the list - France 7 (and they were lucky yo tget that particular score) England 24 (Wilkinson 24)

    So what if we never scored a try, we played the conditions perfectly, and thoroughly outplayed them!

    the forcast here is for rain for a few more days than fining up

    on the wether last night it was awful, raining really heavily as some points, much more than you could make out on the TV, well played by england
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    Hall of Fame Member luckyeddie's Avatar
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    I'm not a fan of Union at all (although I watched Leicester Tigers a couple of times last year - just for the beer, naturally) and I certainly didn't watch today's game (bowling tournament clashed with it) but a pal of mine implied that Wilkinson is a symptom as opposed to a cause of England's success.

    His argument goes something along the lines of "England dominate most games territorially, their method of play pressurises the opposition into conceding penalties in vulnerable positions, Wilkinson's success with the boot is therefore a reflection of the hard work put in by (especially) the pack".

    True or false? As I say, I have no comment of my own to pass. Still getting over Andy Farrell's howler which led to a try and ultimate (and predictable) defeat last night in the proper rugby.
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    PY
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    I think that your pal has an interesting point, England do play a way where the pack is so powerful that scrum-half and Wilkinson almost always have solid ball which they can build on. The pack also cause so many penalties to be given away because opposition try to break them down.

    Wilkinson has looked quite dodgy past few game because IMO the pack haven't been as solid. And the ball has been slow getting to him.

    However, that said once those penalties have been given, he's a machine at just slamming the ball through those posts. Incredible consistency(sp?) which makes him THE best kicker in world rugby.

    For a fly half;best tackler....no (even though he got a couple of nailing tackles in), best passer.....no, best runner......no. BUT he is not far from the top in these areas and he's the best kicker. That's what makes him so essential to England.

    PS LE, you're a bit southern for the crappier (:P) version of the game aren't you?
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  8. #8
    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    Originally posted by PY
    PS LE, you're a bit southern for the crappier (:P) version of the game aren't you?
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    World Traveller Craig's Avatar
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    Originally posted by marc71178
    Add another to the list - France 7 (and they were lucky yo tget that particular score) England 24 (Wilkinson 24)

    So what if we never scored a try, we played the conditions perfectly, and thoroughly outplayed them!
    I would agree.

    And they can play in dry weather, or wet weather, it doesnt matter.

    Whereas I dont think 10-man rugby or playing in the wet would suit Australia.

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    Hall of Fame Member luckyeddie's Avatar
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    Originally posted by PY

    PS LE, you're a bit southern for the crappier (:P) version of the game aren't you?
    Derby???? SOUTH????

    I'll have you know we say 'Thee' and 'Ayup' and 'Doest tha cum from Owbrook, surry?' round these parts.

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