SRU director of rugby Jim Telfer has blamed lack of mental hardness for Scotland's poor results in the European Cup and Conference tournaments.

With Caledonia still to play their final pool game against Harlequins on Saturday, and Glasgow to host Agen on Wednesday night, but with Edinburgh and Scottish Borders now finished with Cup business, Scottish representatives have so far won only a couple of games.

The Scottish Borderers logged a heroic win over Llanelli at Mansfield Park and Glasgow won away from home in the Conference at Newbridge. Otherwise, it has been a salutary lesson for Scotland's European debutants.

Yesterday, Telfer said he was disappointed by the manner in which Scottish sides had aquitted themselves in Europe. ``I look at the League tables and I see we come bottom in every one.

``I have been disappointed by the results and, allowing for the fact that most players have been playing at a higher level than they are used to, I think the main problem has been a mental thing.

``You require a lot of mental hardness to play rugby at this level. You have to keep your concentration going when you are tired physically and that, to me, has been the major disappointment. Scottish sides have flagged in the last 20 minutes and have been beaten by sides that they could and should have beaten,'' he said.

``We are bottom of every league and that worries me about future representation. The players will have learned, though, and between now and next season players will have to be honest with themselves, buckle down, and work hard,'' said Telfer.

q.THE Newcastle prop George Graham, who would have been the first former rugby league player to figure at representative level for Scotland, is out of the Scotland A side to meet Australia at Netherdale tomorrow. Graham strained a leg muscle playing for Newcastle against Bedford on Saturday.

He is replaced by Peebles' Steve Ferguson, who has fought back to representative rugby after a potentially fatal tree-felling accident.

Alan Watt (Currie) is on the bench and Stuart Grimes (Watsonians) has been added to the squad because of injury fears concerning Scott Murray (Bedford).

q.THE four matches which Australia play in Scotland will operate under the new IRFB laws, which permit tactical substitutes. Six replacements can be used in case of injury and five can enter the game as subs at any time.

However, two of them can only be for front-row players.

q.SOME 32 players were sent off in Scotland up to October 12 - one fewer than the corresponding period last season. SRU discipline secretary Iain Goodall said the SRU were disappointed but would continue with their ``zero tolerance'' policy towards foul play.