England fans have suggested that Jonny Wilkinson could be responsible for Harry Kane’s missed penalty against France after a video resurfaced on social media showing the former rugby hero taking spot-kicks with the Three Lions captain. Kane had already scored from 12 yards when he stepped up to take his second penalty of the evening, with France a goal up thanks to Olivier Giroud’s headed effort just moments before England were given a lifeline after Phil Foden was fouled inside the area.
It wasn’t to be for Kane, though, as he fired the ball high over the crossbar before grimacing in disbelief as the French players around him celebrated his woeful miss. Some fans have since been peddling the theory that Wilkinson was to blame for Kane’s unsuccessful effort after practicing penalties with the 29-year-old in an old video, which reappeared on Twitter in the wake of Saturday’s defeat.
The clip begins with Kane slotting the ball into the bottom corner of the net from the spot before Wilkinson, who won the Rugby World Cup for England with a dramatic drop-goal against Australia back in 2003, chipped in with some questionable advice for the Three Lions frontman.
“No, no, no, you got it all wrong,” said Wilkinson, before Kane replied: “It went in, though.” The rugby star then stepped up for a penalty of his own, which went sailing over the crossbar in a similar fashion to Kane’s wayward effort against France.
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Kane was left bemused by the strike and said: “You just put it over by a mile.” However, Wilkinson was quick to remind him: “But that’s how I won a World Cup with England!”
The short video ends with Kane firing another spot-kick high over the crossbar to the delight of Wilkinson, who beamed: “Yes, yes Harry, that’s the one, it’s good.” The original poster, meanwhile, went on to suggest that Wilkinson was at fault for England’s premature World Cup exit against France with the caption: “This is why Harry Kane missed the penalty! We have to blame Jonny Wilkinson.”
Kane will now be left to mull over his heartbreaking penalty miss for the rest of his career after it proved to be decisive in ending England’s hopes of progressing in the World Cup, with France holding onto their slender advantage to set up a semi-final meeting with Morocco at the expense of Gareth Southgate’s men. The England skipper took full responsibility for the unfortunate incident when quizzed on what went wrong after the match as he ran the rule over another painful night on the international stage for the Three Lions.
“I’m someone who prepares to take one or two penalties in the same game, so I can’t blame my preparation,” said Kane. “I felt as confident in the second as in the first, but it was 100 per cent the execution.
“It’s my fault. Obviously it hurts now and it will hurt for a while, but it’s part of being the captain and leader of the team. You have to take responsibility and I take it today. It is a really tough night to take. I am gutted, the team are gutted.”
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