SCOTLAND hope a faster-paced game will produce a better result against Japan today after being second best physically in last week’s 17-3 loss to Wales.

They were certainly a lot more competitive after the break in that match when they upped the tempo, and while the damage was done by then, assistant coach Bryan Easson believes they can take heart from that improvement.

“Japan will be a completely different proposition,” he said of today’s opponents, who are ranked four places below Scotland at 15th in the world. “I watched them draw 17-17 with Italy last Saturday, they played Australia in the summer there as well, and they’re a different kind of side – probably a side that will suit us more. Wales are a physical side, where the Japanese play like the men. They really shift the ball around a lot, and it will be a quick, open game.

“When the Wales game got quicker we actually improved. What we can take out of it is that as the game speeds up, we’re better. And the more we move the ball and move the target, that’s a real plus for us.”

The Welsh defeat was a first reverse for the new management team of head coach Philip Doyle and Easson, who began their tenure with two impressive wins in South Africa at the start of the season. Easson is confident the problems exposed in a lacklustre first half against Wales are not chronic.

“The first half against Wales was a blip,” he said. “We had a good second half, and two good performances out in South Africa, so we’ll park that first half. We’ll obviously work on it, but we’re in a good place and we all believe that we’re getting bigger and stronger.”

With Hannah Smith back from injury today, Scotland have what looks like their strongest midfield: Smith and Lisa Thomson at centre and Helen Nelson at stand-off. But the pack has had to be reshuffled because of other injuries, and, while captain Rachel Malcolm is accustomed to playing at hooker, her position this afternoon, what she brings to the front row may be offset by the loss of her to the back row.

Scotland v Japan: Scotstoun Stadium, today 1pm, streamed live at