Basson a try-scoring machine
Bjorn Basson (Gallo Images)
Bloemfontein – Griquas, who appear on course for a semifinal spot in this year’s Currie Cup, look set to break a try-scoring record on the way.
Springbok wing Bjorn Basson needs only two tries in the second round of the tournament to equal the late Robert Markram’s Griquas record of 11 tries in a Currie Cup season.
Basson has scored nine tries in seven games to date and can take another step closer to the record in the match against the Sharks in Durban on Friday night.
Rugby statistics are often misleading as they don’t always tell the full story. But Griquas backline coach Abré Minnie makes the point that the nine tries by Basson is certainly not a misleading statistic on the wing’s attacking ability.
Basson’s nine tries are two more than that of Sharks flyer Lwazi Mvovo, followed by five each by Pumas flyhalf Elgar Watts, Leopards scrumhalf Michael Bondesio, Sharks loose forward Keegan Daniel, WP flanker Pieter Louw and Free State prop Coenie Oosthuizen.
“Bjorn has not just scored his tries by using his pace, but by popping up in the right positions and running good lines. He has now matured as a player after I identified him as a future Springbok at under-21 level,” said Minnie.
He adds that Basson had to do more than just finish for the majority of his nine tries.
“His extraordinary individual skills came to the fore in a number of the tries and he had to work hard. His strong defence and physical presence at the breakdowns is the pleasing aspect of his game this year – it’s something we have worked at very hard,” said Minnie.
“Bjorn is one of the best aerial players (to pluck the ball out of the air from in front of an opponent) and opponents are making plans to neutralise him every week so that he cannot compete for kicks. The pleasing thing is that Bjorn then himself hatches a plan to counter that.”
Minnie also has no doubt that Basson has the pace to make it at Test level.
“He showed that in the game against the Blue Bulls when he scored that try in the dying seconds. He beat Gerhard van den Heever for pace.”
• Inside centre Barry Geel was Griquas’ leading Currie Cup try-scorer last year with 10 touchdowns.