Scotland reign in Spain

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The Independent Online
Damian Cronin's hopes of playing in the World Cup - and therefore qualifying for a substantial cash bonus - hang in the balance after the lock limped off injured on Saturday, while preparations were concluded with a thorough victory here.

On his first appearance since damaging elbow ligaments during the victory over France in mid-February, Cronin retired with a hamstring damaged in training a few days earlier.

The possible loss of Cronin could not, however, take the shine off a performance in a non-cap international described by the Scotland captain, Gavin Hastings, as "thorough".

Dougie Morgan, the coach, said appreciatively: "Topping 60 points and scoring 10 tries is good in anyone's language." In fact, Scotland were good value for money that will be paid them effectively for competing in South Africa, and released after players had expressed disquiet at proposed arrangements during a meeting five weeks ago.

Officials at Murrayfield, while rejecting any suggestion they had bowed to player power, are nevertheless understood to have approved a Scottish Rugby Union donation of £80,000 to the World Cup squad, over and above amounts paid in by sponsors. Amateur regulations are being stretched by an insistence that the money is partly in lieu of promotional activities, which have amount to recent public training sessions in Perth and Edinburgh.

Quite how the decision also to pay medical staff and coaches what amounts to £3,000 each - Duncan Paterson, the manager, has declined a share of the spoils - squares with existing regulations has still to be justified.

Indeed, embarrassed members of the SRU committee may demand to know this week how details of the increments apparently leaked out while the squad were conducting their week of altitude training in Spain.

Spain: Try Gutierrez; Conversion Gerediaga. Scotland: Tries Joiner 3, Wainwright 2, Hastings 2, Morrison, Logan, Chalmers. Conversions Hastings 6.

SPAIN: F Puertas; D Saenz, F Fernandez, A Mino, P Gutierrez; X Gerediaga, J Hernandez; A Alvarez, F de la Calle, J Diez, J Villau, J Pere-Escobar, A Malo, J Gutierrez (capt), J Etxebarria.

SCOTLAND: G Hastings (Watsonians, capt); C Joiner (Melrose), A Stanger (Hawick), G Shiel (Melrose), K Logan (Stirling County); C Chalmers (Melrose), B Redpath (Melrose); D Hilton (Bath), K McKenzie (Stirling County), P Wright (Boroughmuir), D Cronin (Bourges), G Weir (Melrose), I Morrison (London Scottish), E Peters (Bath), R Wainwright (West Hartlepool). Replacement: S Campbell (Dundee High) for Cronin, 20.

Referee: J Dume (France).

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