Jonny Wilkinson’s drop goal at RWC 2003

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles

The Sport Review continues to reflect upon the top ten sporting moments of the last decade.

Millions watched with baited breath across the globe as Matt Dawson sprang past the Australians, gaining some vital metres for his nation. One last rally by skipper Martin Johnson before Dawson fed the kicking maestro, Jonny Wilkinson.

There was a mere thirty seconds left on the clock. The scores were finally balanced at 17-17. If the English number ten dragged his kick wide then the likelihood was that the match would trickle into sudden death.

Years of practice came down to this one kick which would enshrine Wilkinson not only as an English hero but an icon in world sport. He ensured his place in rugby folklore as his ‘weaker’ right foot pumped the ball through the posts.

Wilkinson’s last-gasp winner was all that separated the two sides in 100 minutes of Rugby. It was an inaugural World Cup success for England and the nation promptly celebrated in a suitably jubilant fashion.

It proved the culmination of over four years hard work by Sir Clive Woodward, his coaching staff and players in which the finally reaped the fruits of their labour at the World Cup in Australia 2003.

The breathtaking drop goal by Wilkinson is a sporting moment that will not only go down as one of the greatest moments of the decade but undoubtedly one of the highlights of the last 100 years.

It finally allowed the Webb Ellis Cup to return to its spiritual home.


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