THE headline in the local paper was not exactly innovative but it told the story well enough.
'France meet Waterloo in Wilkinson,' it proclaimed after England had strangled the life out of the French in their World Cup semi-final with three drop-goals and five penalties from the greatest kicker in rugby.
Not that Wilkinson would have seen it. The most famous sportsman in Britain behind David Beckham professes not to read newspapers. Neither does he watch television. And if he did he'd take no notice of either.
For Wilkinson reading about what he might do, what he has or hasn't done and whether he can kick England to World Cup glory against Australia next Saturday at the Telstra Stadium is simply a waste of precious time.
Just as well considering some of the stick he received before Sunday's majestic display suggested he was on the point of walking into the nearest police station and declaring he was Napoleon.
"Are you a basket case?" is just one of the questions which has come his way - and which, it should be noted, he answered with unflinching courtesy and no little charm.
True, some of his press conferences as vice-captain have turned into long-winded rambles with uncompleted and non-sequential sentences. In other words gibberish, while extracting an actual story worth the name from the brilliant fly-half brings the words 'blood' and 'stone' to mind.
There is no doubt, like the rest of the England squad, he has not always been at his best these past six weeks.
His confidence was punctured by the physicality of the South Africans. By his standards he did not play well against Samoa and Wales, but his value was obvious against France and there is no denying that England's best chance of getting their hands on the Webb Ellis Trophy next Saturday hangs on Wilkinson.
Just listen to captain Martin Johnson's view of his most prolific points gatherer.
"Jonny controlled the game brilliantly against France," said Johnson. "His kicking was fantastic and it kept us ticking over in a close game. A lot of stick came his way last week, totally unwarranted in my view but there you go. He came through and played a fantastic game."
He did and we should salute his 24-point haul.
Indeed, rather than mock his obsession, why not delight in his dedication, the same quality which sees Beckham stay out on the practice pitch longer than anyone to perfect those lethal free-kicks.
Since the age of four Wilkinson has been preparing for his role as England's supreme finisher at this World Cup.
Back then he used to line up toilet rolls in the lounge of the family home and kick them over imaginary posts to emulate the star kickers of the day.
He progressed to being the playmaker in teams way beyond his age-group and still lists his most embarrassing moment as the time he fell flat on his face after stubbing his foot in the ground while taking a kick at goal as a 10-year-old for the under-12s.
Even Christmas Day is never complete until Wilkinson has fulfilled his obligatory two hours' training.
The obsession grew to the point where he admits himself to almost having a nervous breakdown while growing more and more angry when practising goal-kicks for hours on end at Newcastle.
It is against that backdrop that we should judge Wilkinson's apparent obsessive behaviour on this World Cup trip.
Yes, by his own admission he has spent too much time on his own in his bedroom while teammates have relaxed by the pool or down on the beach.
He has immersed himself in watching videos of past performances and has re-read coaching manuals with kicking coach Dave Alred in an attempt to be at perfect pitch for the biggest challenge of his career.
He has looked anxious at times, as if the weight of expectation which comes with being England's most lethal weapon is weighing ever heavier on his shoulders.
But for Wilkinson none of that is obsessive - it's normal. Without constant attention to the mechanics of his talent Wilkinson simply experiences the sort of withdrawal symptoms which normally come from the contents of a syringe.
Quite simply, he is addicted to the battle for perfection.
As such let's celebrate the fact that we have a player capable of delivering World Cup glory.
And a man who takes both praise and criticism in his stride.
"My week is irrelevant," said Wilkinson. "I've not read the papers since I came out here so I've not had a clue (about the criticism). I read the match programme and that's the first I've read of it.
"I'm happy for people to have their opinion. That's the whole point.
"When I represent my country I'm everyone's property. Everyone's entitled to their opinion and rightly so. You can't please everyone but what I do try and do is please the rest of the players."
Another performance on Saturday to match that against France and he would please the entire nation.