Six try Sotland ease past Japan at Murrayfield

Scotland kicked off their Autumn Internationals with a six try 42-17 victory over Japan at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Scotland survived two second half scares but managed to get their International
season off to a winning start against a plucky Japanese side.

The Scots led 11-3 at half time but tries by left wing Kenki Fukuoka twice
pegged back the gap to a single point before the hosts pulled clear with four
tries in the final 25 minutes.

Scotland bagged six tries in all, wing Tommy Seymour claiming a brace on his
home debut and Greig Laidlaw, Alasdair Dickinson, Duncan Weir and Sean Lamont
also crossing the opposition whitewash.

The Scots lined up without the injured Stuart Hogg and Tim Visser, Maitland
switching from the wing to full-back and Lamont and Seymour filling the vacant
berths out wide.

Seymour, born in Nashville, Tennessee, was making his first home start for
his mother’s native country, as was his Glasgow team-mate, lock Tim Swinson,
both having been blooded on the summer tour to South Africa.

It was the Scots who made the better start, putting the ‘Brave Blossoms’ on
the back foot from the off. They took the lead in the seventh minute, scrum-half
Laidlaw landing a penalty from the right after the Japanese front row were punished
for failing to bind correctly.

Japan might have struck back but after building some promising attacking momentum
the move came to a juddering halt when centre Craig Wing was shunted backwards
by Swinson.

Thereafter, the Scots regained the upper hand. Laidlaw sent a second penalty
attempt, from wide on the right, slamming into the near post in the 17th minute
but five minutes later the Edinburgh player made amends with his third pot at
the posts, doubling the home lead to 6-0.

It took Scotland half an hour to fully get into the attacking groove but they
did so with a vengeance, Maitland making a half break on the left before play
was switched to the right and drives by Swinson and David Denton set up Seymour
for a score in the corner.

Laidlaw pushed the conversion wide, though, and after full back Ayumu Goromuru
nailed a 37th minute penalty for Japan, Scotland had to settle for an 11-3 half-time
lead when Lamont followed up a dazzling break by Nick De Luca to cross the try-line
– only for the score to be chalked off by television match official Marshall
Kilgore because of blocking by Swinson.

Japan cut the gap to 11-10 three minutes into the second half. Fukuoka scored
in the left corner, finishing off a move launched by scrum-half Fuimaka Tanaka
and Goromuru converted.

There were sighs of relief when Laidlaw dived over to score from a close range
ruck four minutes later. His successful conversion made it 18-10 to Scotland.

Again, Japan hit back, Goromaru punching a hole in the home defence and Fukuoka
scooting over for his second try on the right. Goromura’s conversion closed
the gap to 18-17.

Then it was Scotland’s turn again. Jackson sent a long looping pass out to
the right and Seymour crossed for his second try.

Laidlaw missed the conversion but Scotland maintained their momentum, replacement
prop Dickinson scoring under the posts in the 64th minute and Laidlaw adding
the conversion to make it 30-17.

Five minutes later replacement fly-half Weir squeezed over to score in the
left corner.

Then, with two minutes remaining, Lamont touched down a loose kick and Weir
converted to complete an ultimately comfortable victory.

Final Score Scotland 42 (11) Japan 17 (3)

Scorers

Scotland
Tries – Seymour (2), Laidlaw, Dickinson, Weir, Lamont
Pen – Laidlaw (2)
Con – Laidlaw (2), Weir
Drop –

Japan
Trie

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