Nothing pleases a rugby forward more than to look up from a scrum or ruck and see hard-earned possession being put to good use by backs.
So, imagine the delight of Scotland players at the weekend when Tim Visser was able to provide a much-needed cutting edge with a brace of tries from the wing as New Zealand were forced to work for their latest win.
While the first of “Vis the whizz’s” tries came from an interception, the second was undoubtedly due to possession being turned over and once given a glimpse of the try-line, that was sufficient for the Edinburgh ace.
Given Visser’s form with Edinburgh in topping domestic league charts for each of his three seasons with the team, it should have come as no surprise, but prop forward Ryan Grant was still nonetheless left pleased.
“Tim and I go back a while having lived in the same apartment block in Edinburgh before I moved to Glasgow,” said Grant, pictured. “It’s great to see him doing for Scotland what he has done for so long at Edinburgh.
“For any team to have a strike weapon, whether it is Tim or Sean (Lamont) on the other wing, is great.
“One aspect of it is that the opposition are going to have to try to mark strike runners out of the game. Hopefully that means they leave space for others.”
Grant himself came close to marking his home debut, after earning three caps on the summer tour of the Southern Hemisphere, with a try.
“Driving off the back of a maul on one occasion, it did cross my mind that I might go all the way, before one of the All Black players managed to get me from the left hand side.
“I just try and get as far as I can before posting the ball back.”
It was in primary chores that Grant excelled ahead of what could well be an even more formidable test against South Africa on Saturday when coach Andy Robinson has to decide to stick with Geoff Cross on the tight head side of the front row or bring back Euan Murray, whose religious beliefs rendered him unavailable for a Sunday fixture.
“I thought the scrums were alright, pretty solid,” said Grant, adding: “In the Heineken Cup and Rabo you come up against good tight-head props every other week, so I didn’t feel I was out of my depth at all.
“South Africa will be a lot more direct compared to New Zealand, who I didn’t think we gave a great deal of opportunity to, but they just capitalised so well on any mistake.
“If you want to beat the best in the world you can’t do that, which is the message we took into the build-up to Saturday’s game.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 20 June 2013
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