Well, maybe Graham Henry has felt the noose loosen around his neck, because as far as I can see, the major chokers so far at the World Cup are the goal kickers… Let’s have a wee look at the pattern of play so far.
Dan Carter, Jonny Wilkinson, and Jonny Sexton all had miserable starts with the boot in this World Cup (and it looks like James Hook is about to join the club too). None of them have pulled out what you would exactly describe as glittering performances, and all of them could easily have put the game far beyond doubt for their sides had they landed their penalty attempts. But the prize for biggest choker(s) so far goes to…
That’s right… Martín Rodríguez and Felipe Contepomi of Argentina. Between them they managed to fluff 6 penalties against England in their opening game, costing the Pumas what would have been a valuable win and leaving them an uphill struggle if they lose in any of their remaining games. Had the pair landed those 6 penalties, they would have won the game for Argentina, but alas, that wasn’t to be and England pipped them to the post.
It’s certainly been an odd start for the goal kickers this year and conspiracy theories are flying about left, right, and centre as to why this is. We’ll get a fuller picture over the next couple of days, but at the minute I’m bamboozled (in the style of that old teletext quiz on Channel 4)