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Thread: Jonny Wilkinson - how good is he?

  1. #1
    State Vice-Captain Francis's Avatar
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    Jonny Wilkinson - how good is he?

    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.

  2. #2
    State Vice-Captain BlackCap_Fan's Avatar
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    He's definitely good, but very overrated. England's entire offense pretty much revolves around his kicking, which is why he seems to be so good because he seems to be doing everything. He does play well under pressure, though.

    I'd put him fourth or fifth - Behind Carter, Larkham, Montgomeroy, and maybe Steyn.
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    He's very good, but isn't as good as some people think. Also, he hasn't actually played that well during this tournament.
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    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    He's a good kicker, but not as good this WC as last from what I've seen (Which, admittedly, isn't much).
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    International Coach social's Avatar
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    Great defender, great kicker under pressure, gives confidence to his team - best five-eight for Eng's style of play and they grow an extra leg when he's on the field

    However, he's certainly not the best five-eight and never has been as with ball in hand he's pretty average

    The myth surrounding him is largely a media beat-up and takes away from the fact that his forwards won the last WC and if Eng had Larkham or Spencer the game wouldnt have made it anywhere near extra time with the quality of posession they enjoyed

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    International Coach social's Avatar
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    Great defender, great kicker under pressure, gives confidence to his team - best five-eight for Eng's style of play and they grow an extra leg when he's on the field

    However, he's certainly not the best five-eight and never has been as with ball in hand he's pretty average

    The myth surrounding him is largely a media beat-up and takes away from the fact that his forwards won the last WC and if Eng had Larkham or Spencer the game wouldnt have made it anywhere near extra time with the quality of posession they enjoyed

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    Hall of Fame Member age_master's Avatar
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    Hes a pretty poor rugby player, great kicker though. he certainly isn't the key to their success this WC - their forwards deserve the credit there.
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    Largely agree with the comments made. He's a solid place-kicker now, rather than an excellent one as he was formerly, and his defence is still very good (even if he did miss the tackle for Tonga's first try in the group stages).

    His contribution as a catalyst is immeasurable tho. There's no escaping the fact that we do look a better (or perhaps I shoul say more effective) team with him @ 10 than with anyone else.

    England's best player this tournament for mine has been (with the possible exception of the predictably brilliant Robinson) Gomarsall. He's marshalled our pack so well and (crucially) has delivered quicker ball than we've had from the breakdown in years. Our try against France actually came from one of his kicks rather than one of the saintly Mr Wilkinson's, you'll note.
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    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by age_master View Post
    Hes a pretty poor rugby player, great kicker though. he certainly isn't the key to their success this WC - their forwards deserve the credit there.
    I agree, especially with the bit about the forwards.

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    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby View Post
    Largely agree with the comments made. He's a solid place-kicker now, rather than an excellent one as he was formerly, and his defence is still very good (even if he did miss the tackle for Tonga's first try in the group stages).

    His contribution as a catalyst is immeasurable tho. There's no escaping the fact that we do look a better (or perhaps I shoul say more effective) team with him @ 10 than with anyone else.

    England's best player this tournament for mine has been (with the possible exception of the predictably brilliant Robinson) Gomarsall. He's marshalled our pack so well and (crucially) has delivered quicker ball than we've had from the breakdown in years. Our try against France actually came from one of his kicks rather than one of the saintly Mr Wilkinson's, you'll note.
    Sheridan has been impressive for mine, also
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    International Coach PhoenixFire's Avatar
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    Basically, he was as good as everyone made him out to be in the 2003 RWC, as far as everyone raving about his place kicking which was awesome. It has gone downhill a fair bit since then, and it hasn't been all that good this WC. Still an awesome kicker and a great tackler, but not as good as he used to be.
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    Hall of Fame Member steds's Avatar
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    I've said it hundreds of times before. He's an average rugby player but an above average kicker. Definitely had an impact on the England side this World Cup though, though. Different side since him and Gomarsall took over in the halves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Francis View Post
    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.
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  14. #14
    International Regular simmy's Avatar
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    He is the Flintoff of the English side.

    Without him it just looks half as strong...


    Plus I am pretty confident that whatever the result Jonny will shine in the final. This is the match of his career... forget 2003.
    Last edited by simmy; 15-10-2007 at 09:45 PM.

  15. #15
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    His presence lifts the English side. They're infinitely more confident when he plays. That's an intangible and hard to measure, but the team believes they have a chance because of his kicking & that's particularly important for the tight five and what they need to accomplish as a unit. During the last two victories, the half backs and Catt at second five have helped Wilkinson a lot. Anyway, no one prepares, trains or practices harder than Wilkinson. He looks ice cool on the pitch, but I read a quote in the paper this morning that he can see his heart beating through his uniform when he steps up for a pressure kick. So, I'd say he's a great player, but more of a warrior these days.

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