TIM VISSER KNOWS a thing or 74 about scoring tries at the highest level.
The Dutch-born Scotland international has won the accolade of the Pro12/Magners League top try-scorer for three seasons in succession and currently leads this season’s charts for five-pointers.
One his 11 league tries for Edinburgh this season came against Connacht at the Sportsground. Visser scored after six minutes and the Scots led by eight points going into the closing stages before a Danie Poolman try and Dan Parks conversion made for a tight finish. Parks had a drop goal chance at the end but snatched at it and Edinburgh took the points for a 24-23 win.
One player that caught Visser’s eye in that narrow victory was 19-year-old Connacht fullback Robbie Henshaw. The winger told TheScore.ie:
I’ve seen him play a few times and like how he goes about it. He is, obviously, a rapid guy and an elusive runner. Players like that bring an extra attacking element to their team.
“He is a lot like the other Irish players, Simon Zebo and Craig Gilroy. They are somewhat inexperienced but they can’t be underestimated.”
The victory over Connacht is one of just six victories in a 25-game season, to date, that has lurched from one Edinburgh disaster to the next.
The bulk of the team that reached the Heineken Cup semi-finals last season were hammered in four of their six pool matches this year and were mere footnotes on the 2012/13 competition. That, combined with atrocious league for, saw Michael Bradley’s coaching reign end prematurely.
Visser said, “I can’t put my finger, exactly, on how it all changed from last season. Michael Bradley led us to the semis last year, and we will always have special memories of that, but sometimes things click with new coaches. That has happened since [new coach] Stevie Scott arrived.
“At this stage of the season we know we have nothing to win but we do have pride to play for. We want to show the fans that we are capable of winning some games and restore their faith.”
Visser scored Six Nations tries against Italy and France this year. (©INPHO/Ryan Byrne)
Victories over Ulster and Zebre have given the Scots, and Visser, hope that they can finish their season on a five-match winning streak. Connacht are the next stepping stone, at Murrayfield tonight, but they will be playing to impress their coach for next season, Pat Lam.
Visser has highlighted Connacht’s veteran outhalf Dan Parks, a former Scotland international, as one to watch. He said:
Parks is a very specific player. He has a few skills that he sticks to and is outstandingly good at. He can put a ball pretty much wherever he wants on the pitch.”
As long as that ball is kept far away from Visser, Connacht will feel they have a fighting chance.
Edinburgh v Connacht will not be shown live in Ireland this evening but you can follow all the latest action, and scores, on TheScore.ie