Morrison display dilutes Scotland misery

NSW Waratahs 33 Scotland 15
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The Independent Online

In the wreckage of Scotland's demoralising defeat to a shadow NSW Waratahs side, which included the loss of another Test contender to injury, was an outstanding performance from the inside centre Graeme Morrison.

In the wreckage of Scotland's demoralising defeat to a shadow NSW Waratahs side, which included the loss of another Test contender to injury, was an outstanding performance from the inside centre Graeme Morrison.

The 21-year-old's display drew praise from his opposite number, the Australia international Nathan Grey, and the Scotland coach, Matt Williams. That was no small compliment since Williams thought Scotland's defeat, in which they conceded five tries, was their worst of the last eight difficult months.

"That game was worth it if only for Graeme Morrison's performance," Williams said. "He made the gain-line or broke it every single time he got the ball." Grey simply said: "He is a very good player."

Scotland competed well for much of the first half, but could not maintain that intensity throughout and were punished for missed tackles and sloppy mistakes after the break.

Scott Staniforth showed what London Irish fans will enjoy next year, scoring twice for the Waratahs and creating another, for Elia Tuqiri, with a sublime pass out of the back of his hand. The full-back Peter Hewat and scrum-half Tim Clark both scored after the interval and the fly-half Tim Donnelly rounded off the night with four conversions.

Scotland managed just a try in each half, from the prop Joel Brannigan and the winger Stephen Cranston, plus five points from Gordon Ross.

The Scotland captain, Jon Petrie, was taken to hospital after the match but scans cleared him of any damage to his neck and he is expected to be available for Test selection. One player definitely out, however, is Simon Danielli, who will be travelling home after failing to shake off a back injury. The Bath winger has sat out large chunks of training on this trip and was again replaced at half-time.

Williams and his assistant coach, Todd Blackadder, were last night finalising the 10 players to depart for home today - a simple decision in the case of Danielli, but more difficult in a number of other positions.

NSW Waratahs: Tries Hewat, E Tuqiri, Staniforth 2, Clark; Conversions Donnelly 4. Scotland: Tries Cranston, Brannigan; Conversions Ross; Penalties Ross.

NSW Waratahs: Hewat; E Tuqiri, Thaiday, Grey, Staniforth; Donnelly, Clark; Hoiles, McGann, Kaprowicz, Caldwell, Campbell, Broughton-Rouse, Freier, Hardy. Replacements: Edmonds, Walsh, Wilson, Sproats, O'Young, Berne, Hilgendorf.

Scotland: Morton; Danielli, Di Rollo, Morrison, Cranston; Ross, Blair; C Smith, Russell, Brannigan, Fullarton, Hamilton, MacLeod, Petrie, Gray. Replacements: Scott, Noon, Kellock, Beveridge, Lawson, Dey, A Hall.

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