Edinburgh Reivers and Glasgow Caledonians face a huge task if news that their European campaigns will be televised live is not to add to their embarrassment.

Broadcasters and the SRU remain tight-lipped about negotiations, but I understand that BBC Scotland plan live coverage of all four home European pool matches in October.

That offers wonderful exposure if the sides are performing, but after Saturday's latest record defeat, Edinburgh Reivers coach Frank Hadden was fending off talk of crisis.

Cardiff manager Bob Norster also called for the Scottish sides to be given time to become more competitive.

''They have done the right thing over the summer in recruiting some quality home-bred players, and we were certainly impressed with the level of names they were getting back,'' said former British Lion Norster after his side's 80-16 mauling of the Reivers. ''However you don't build a team immediately just by putting the names on the sheet. I hope they are given an opportunity to build now and strengthen their team. They have to play collectively and it will take them a while. They will go back, lick their wounds, be a more focused side, and realise there is a bit of team-building to be done. When we go up to Scotland a very different team will await us.''

Scottish credibility, is on the line in Wales, though, with patience wearing thin in some quarters, both teams having performed abysmally in Wales on these first two Celtic League weekends.

Reivers coach Frank Hadden seemed not to have quite grasped why, though, in comparing his men's challenge with that facing the Welsh. ''Apparently, Cross Keys and Llanelli are moaning about coming up to Scotland, yet we have to make that same journey twice in a week,'' said Hadden. ''You won't see us moaning about it. We just have to get on with it.''

To the Welsh, the Scottish teams look an expensive luxury if they fail to be seen to enhance the league's quality.

Llanelli chief executive Stuart Gallagher outlined the financial cost of Scottish involvement at this season's league launch, claiming it cost his club some #26,000 to head north twice last season.

Recent results against Irish provinces may offer little solace in competitive terms, the Reds having suffered a record defeat of their own against Munster a fortnight ago, the day after Ulster had thrashed the Reivers.

Also affecting Welsh perception is the artificial safety net enjoyed by Scottish sides, which Norster acknowledged.

''It is a potential factor,'' he agreed, when asked whether Neath's genuine desperation for points a week earlier could explain the apparent difference between their commitment against Cardiff and that of the Reivers. ''It certainly does sharpen your pencil when you know it is all about making your finances secure through qualifying for European competition.

''That's certainly a driving force for clubs here.''

The Scots now face another new challenge, facing midweek league matches for the first time.

''We cannot afford to talk about crisis. We've got a game to win against Llanelli on Wednesday and will approach it positively from Monday onwards,'' Hadden pointed out.

The Reds, meanwhile, won convincingly, but showed some defensive frailty yesterday against the league's poorest side - in terms of both resources and tradition - despite Cross Keys having rested most of their first team ahead of their own midweek meeting with Ebbw Vale.

They face much tougher opposition tomorrow at Bridgend, who defeated last season's European Cup finalists Llanelli 41-30 on Saturday.

Match reports Page 5