Rugby Union: Stamping earns Morris suspension

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The Independent Online
Swansea 50 Bath 17

THE SWANSEA prop Darren Morris has been banned for two matches following his sending-off for stamping during the Anglo-Welsh friendly against Bath. Swansea's director of rugby, Baden Evans, the Bath coach, Andy Robinson, and Wales coach, Graham Henry, formed the disciplinary panel.

Morris was given his marching orders after 71 minutes for stamping on Andy Long at a ruck. Long had to leave the field immediately after the incident to have six stitches put in a wound on the back of his head.

Swansea recovered from the blow to humble the European champions at St Helen's.

With the Five Nations looming and Wales still searching for a competent loosehead prop, there were fears that Morris would not be available to take his place in Henry's squad. But a disciplinary code for the rebel friendly matches has yet to be confirmed although under normal rulings Morris would have been out for anything between six to eight weeks.

Arwel Thomas proved the difference between the teams as Swansea coped far better with the torrential rain. The diminutive stand-off, who has missed all but two games this season because of a knee injury, helped himself to 20 points in front of Henry.

His first of three first-half penalties gave Swansea the lead and when Colin Charvis was driven over for a try on 12 minutes Thomas was on hand to convert from close in. Paul Arnold and Garin Jenkins added first-half tries and Thomas kicked two more penalties. Matthew Robinson scored two tries in as many minutes straight after the restart and though Ian Balshaw touched down for Bath, Swansea went even further ahead with a converted penalty try.