A MEGAN Gaffney try helped Scotland secure their third successive victory of the season as they defeated Japan.

Scotland welcomed fans back into the DAM Health Stadium, beside BT Murrayfield on Sunday, and were roared on by a crowd of 2,346 as they won 36-12.

The win followed Scotland’s successes against Spain and Ireland to keep alive their hopes of reaching the Rugby World Cup.

Scotland will enter the final qualifying tournament in Dubai in February, when they will face off against Samoa, Colombia and either Hong Kong or Kazakhstan in the hopes of reaching the tournament in New Zealand later in the year.

Bryan Easson, head coach, was pleased with his team’s showing, which included six tries.

He said: “We worked quite hard last week on getting that consistency back in our performance and the first 20 minutes was good, but the second 20 was not so good and there were a few choice words at half-time.

“I’ll be honest, we were quite blunt. It wasn’t what we are about. The days of just throwing the ball about and just expecting things to happen are long gone.

“In the second half, we really got back to basics, and I thought our game management and our kicking game was excellent.

“We really pressurised Japan and when we got ball in hand it was about carrying hard and attacking space.

“If we are going to continue to be a good side then we have to become ruthless and that doesn’t happen by going rogue and playing as individuals, it is about playing as a team.

“So, we were just very clear at half-time that we didn’t need to change what we had been doing well, and the players totally got it.”

Gaffney, of North Berwick, was making her 38th appearance for Scotland and marked it with her country’s first try of the second half.

After useful carries from Jade Konkel and Emma Wassell, Lana Skeldon and Chloe Rollie handled for Gaffney to gather and cross for Scotland’s third try and to regain a lead that they would not relinquish.

Gaffney, who plays her club rugby for Loughborough Lightning, made her debut for Scotland against the Netherlands in 2011.

Since then, the 29-year-old has scored a dozen tries for her country.

There was also an East Lothian connection among the Japanese backroom staff, with Louise Dalgliesh taking up an assistant coach role earlier this year.

She taught at Haddington’s Knox Academy, Ross High School in Tranent and Preston Lodge High School in Prestonpans for more than a decade before taking on a permanent post with Scottish Rugby.