‘Unsung hero’: Aussie one win away from Super Bowl appearance

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould kicks a game winning field goal during the NFC Divisional playoff game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field.
Aussie Mitch Wishnowsky holds for 49ers teammate Robbie Gould on the game-winning kick. Pic: Getty

Aussie punter Mitch Wishnowsky is one game away from making his second Super Bowl appearance after his San Francisco 49ers pulled off a nail-biting 13-10 upset win over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

In frigid conditions where snow fell throughout the game and temperatures reached as low as -17 degrees celsius, Wishnowsky had the thankless task of holding for the game-winning field goal attempt from 49ers kicker Robbie Gould.

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Despite a high snap, Wishnowsky was able to get the ball down for Gould to slot it between the uprights from 45 yards as time expired.

Although it may not have been the most spectacular play of his NFL career to date, Wishnowsky’s contribution in a crucial moment did not go unnoticed by commentator Troy Aikman.

“You can’t say enough about that hold by Wishnowsky,” Aikman said.

“Getting the ball on a high snap and getting the ball placed.”

Other onlookers took to Twitter to praise Wishnowsky’s steady hands in the unfavourable conditions.

Robbie Gould credits Mitch Wishnowsky

Gould, who is now a perfect 18-18 on field goal attempts during playoff games, also credited Wishnowsky for his performance throughout the game.

“I’m pretty happy with how (long-snapper) Taylor (Pepper) and Mitch handled all the conditions,” Gould said.

“I mean those guys played really, really well, for not having played in it a lot.

“You really can’t prepare for it like you’re getting out there.

“The biggest challenge was that the field got a lot softer from pre-game, but I felt really comfortable.

“I had a really good pre-game warm-up. We knew coming in that you’d only be able to kick the ball a certain distance or the offence would have to go for it on fourth down.”

On top of holding for Gould’s kicks, Wishnowsky also had five punts for an average of 46.8 yards per punt, including two downed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.

“I think Mitch punted awesome, which helped us with field position,” Gould said.

Wishnowsky was part of the 49ers team that lost Super Bowl LIV 31-20 the Kansas City Chiefs during his rookie season.

The 49ers will now face the winner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus Los Angeles Rams in the NFL Championship game.

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