Rugby World Cup: Wilkinson unable to explain poor display

World Cup winner was baffled by his woeful kicking display during England's Pool B clash with Argentina

jonny wilkinson
Wilkinson (right) missed five penalties in a row against Argentina PA Photos

jonny wilkinson

Jonny Wilkinson admitted he was at a loss to explain one of his worst kicking displays for England after he missed five consecutive penalties against Argentina.

England edged to a 13-9 win over the Pumas in their Pool B opener at the Otago Stadium on Saturday – but both sides struggled with their kicking.

Concerns were raised about the stadium design before the game, with giant television screens behind both posts potentially distracting to kickers.

But the 32-year-old refused to blame any external factors for his woeful kicking performance. “I’m not going to apportion any kind of blame other than that on myself,” said Wilkinson.

“I was the one kicking the ball and when I hit them I felt I was hitting them very, very well. That made it hard for me to understand and correct what was going on.

“There were couple out there I would have thought were not great kicks but the rest of them I was pretty happy with.

“I kept looking at what I was doing each time and I was happy with it. So in a way it’s quite difficult to compound it and move on to the next one.

“It’s the same for everyone; it’s a case of going back to the drawing board and looking at how we can get better.”

The former Newcastle Falcon and 2003 World Cup winner added: “As a kicker you don’t ever look at it and say I can’t kick this. You always feel you’ll get the next one.

“The disappointing thing for me was that I would have liked to have scored more points to help the guys out, for your country and your team.

“But the only way you let people down is if you let things get to you and it affects the rest of your game.

“If you’re missing kicks you can’t allow the rest to go out the window and become useless.”

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