Cunningham defends Wilkin over ‘worst kick in history’ jibe

Jon Wilkin's kicking game has been criticised after he stood in as a makeshift scrum-half
Jon Wilkin's kicking game has been criticised after he stood in as a makeshift scrum-half
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Keiron Cunningham has leaped to the defence of his skipper Jon Wilkin after he spurned a golden chance to help Saints snatch a last-gasp victory at Hull FC on Friday night.

The Humberside-born skipper, operating in the role of scrum half for the first time this season, appeared to be in a favourable position on the last tackle to set up a 79th minute try when the hosts were clinging on to a precarious 18-14 advantage.

Garry Schofield was critical of skipper Jon Wilkin's performance, despite not having watched Saints' game against Hull FC

Garry Schofield was critical of skipper Jon Wilkin's performance, despite not having watched Saints' game against Hull FC

But with options available, Wilkin elected to deliver a grubber kick which went horribly wrong.

And then, just to add salt to the wound, the Airlie Birds swept down to the other end of the field to add a converted try to give a false-looking final score line.

Cunningham said: “People have been cynical and quite hard on Wilko following that incident but I thought he had a great game. He organised things and did a lot of good stuff.

“There was a little bit of anxiety about the kick but what pleased me was the fact that at the time we still believed we could have won the game.”

People have been cynical and quite hard on Wilko following that incident but I thought he had a great game. He organised things and did a lot of good stuff

Saints head coach Keiron Cunningham

Even though he wasn’t a spectator at the game, former Great Britain international and Rugby League and League Express columnist Garry Schofield added his two penn’orth.

He said: “I received a text from a journalist which said Wilkin had blow the game with the worst kick in history.”