Jonny Wilkinson Makes Interesting Observation For Sexton’s Drop-Goal
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Johnny Sexton stole the show in round one of Six Nations this weekend, thanks to his last gasp drop-goal in Paris that snatched victory for Ireland over France.
There’s so much to analyse in the build-up and the execution to the incredible effort. Ireland’s ability to retain the ball for 41 phases. Sexton’s kick to Earls. The big carries from Henderson and Stander to set it up. Murray’s pass. We could go on forever.
One area however, that hasn’t really been touched on, is the actual set-up just before Sexton makes the kick. Former England outhalf Jonny Wilkinson knows a thing or two about match winning drop-goals, and he made an interesting observation yesterday.
“What’s really interesting is, as this pass gets thrown, you see the rest of the Ireland backs are pretty much on their level with him.” Wilkinson said.
“So it’s not that obvious that he’s gonna hit it, which is why the French team aren’t right in his face. So that’s a great decision from him to take it then.”
“Drop-goals in that situation, you’ve got one shot. There’s no reeling it back in once you’ve hit it.”
“He understands that as soon as you drop that ball to hit it, the game is gone.”
“And that’s a big, big play. And hitting it from that far out, was a big play. He must have felt like he had it.”
“But also when you’re that far out, you go for it. The difficult thing is when you’re closer, you start to try and just ‘get it done.’
“There you could see he let loose, went through the technique right to the end, finished the job, looked up and I think you could see immediately he was backing off.”