Mon, Nov 20, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Injury problems continue for Scotland

AFP , EDINBURGH

Scotland rugby supremo Frank Hadden refused to speculate on a possible citing for foul play after his injury problems reached crisis proportions on Saturday.

The coach admitted the new setbacks involving Chris Cusiter and Johnny Beattie had taken the gloss off the 34-22 Test victory over the Pacific Islanders at Murrayfield.

Lions scrumhalf Cusiter was taken to hospital with what looked like the latest in a sequence of shoulder injuries -- while exciting young back-row star Beattie sustained a suspected ankle fracture.

Both departed during the opening 10 minutes and TV replays suggested that Cusiter could have been the victim of a late challenge by French-based Tongan forward Viliami Vaki.

Vaki appeared to drive Cusiter into the turf long after he had parted with the ball.

Hadden declared: "I don't want to make any observations until I have watched the match on video."

"But I have to stress that losing two such important players so early in the game showed that we could make a seamless transition on the park. The fact that other players could come in so easily underlined the maturity in the squad," he said.

"I feel heartbroken for Chris. He has had dreadful luck over the past couple of years," Hadden said.

Hadden is already resigned to being without skipper Jason White and breakaway colleague Ally Hogg long-term.

And the Beattie situation will be a major worry, not only for next weekend's encounter with Australia, but the looming Six Nations campaign.

On his team's display, which yielded four tries before the break, but none in the second half, Hadden added: "The guys have been asked to play at a certain intensity for three weeks and that is very hard to do."

"I was delighted with the first-half performance. It was exceptional," he said.

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