Rugby: Edinburgh record breaker Visser hungry to score more

editorial image
Have your say

Tim Visser is back sitting on top of the Celtic League try charts, a position he has occupied in each of the past two rugby seasons.

A brace against Leinster last weekend had the double effect of taking Visser on to 29 tries, one more than colleague Simon Webster in the Edinburgh charts since the competition began, and also putting him level on five for the season with Aironi’s New Zealand-born No. 8 Nick Williams, below.

But while happy to joke that getting upsides with Williams is the least he could on grounds that “he isn’t even a winger”, ‘Vis the Whizz’ turned serious when discussing prospects of improving and Edinburgh’s need to get a victory when they visit Benetton Treviso on Saturday.

“It was good to get another record in overhauling Simon who is an established player and finisher. I was happy with that.

“I just want to keep going. I had a bit of a slow start.

“If I can build on these tries now that I’m top again that will let me get away from Nick Williams because he is not even a winger. I hope he has just got lucky with his tries so far!” said Visser.

As for Saturday’s game the Dutchman, who becomes eligible on residency grounds for Scotland next summer, believes Edinburgh owe the Italians. “It will be a big game for us. We have one to get back on them for the last game of the season out there.”

That was a reference to how Edinburgh crashed 6-31 which was their biggest league defeat of 2010-11. This term, Treviso have won four in-a-row to reach a best-ever fifth place .

Not only that, but in hammering Dragons 50-24 last week, Treviso collected a try bonus point for the first time, pushing the Newport/Gwent team one place below Edinburgh to second bottom on scoring differential.

At least Italy will have some happy memories for Edinburgh, their last away win in the league was at Aironi in 2009.

Visser adds: “Treviso are a really good team at home and showing they are easily the best Italian side.

“They are a completely different team at home than away.”

So far as try-scoring is concerned, it doesn’t seem to matter to Visser where he plays since two of his five have come ‘on the road’.

However, last week’s brace was special for the contrast in style. He recalled: “Before every game we try and make a deal with another player about things we are going to try to do.

I said to Greig [Laidlaw] I was going to try to run off his shoulder and it worked out as I went through to the posts from his pass.

“For the second try Mossy [Chris Paterson] gave me a good wide pass. There was a bit of flaky tackling involved but I got away.”

The scores, however, couldn’t prevent Edinburgh suffering their fifth defeat of the season, by 28-36, to miss out on a losing bonus even though they “won” the try count 3-2.

“There was an awkward silence afterwards not to get anything out of it, but it was our own fault due to the penalties we gave away,” added Visser. “It was such a good game to watch, lots of exciting rugby but you can’t win going what we did.”

As for what happens next, he says: “My next goal is just to become a better player. I said that at the start and I’ll try and finish another season on a high.

“I think my defensive work is picking up and going into the wet season now I’m going to work on catching high balls.

“I have always got little goals to get through the season and as long as I keep performing to the high standards I set myself I’ll be happy.”

Visser was speaking at Murrayfield where he briefed Scottish women’s team players Sarah Quick and Ruth Slaven, both from Murrayfield, ahead of their match on Sunday with his native Netherlands in Amsterdam.

“A lot my friends play for the women’s national team who, relatively speaking, are actually a lot better than the men’s team.

“That’s to do with the exposure the female game got at the last World Cup. It was immense and with the sevens team going to the Olympics a professional squad has been created in that form of the game.

“With Olympic status there is a lot of funding for teams and they have been able to go fully pro.”