Patience is an under-rated quality. Most of us do not have the time for it. And, in a sport as frenziedly physical as rugby, it can often appear conspicuous by its absence.

Nonetheless, it was an absolutely vital ingredient of Scotland’s 36-10 victory over Ireland at the DAM Health Stadium on Saturday night, a result that secured fourth place in the final TikTok Women’s Six Nations table.

Just as importantly, it has been an essential element of the coaching team’s make-up as they have striven to turn round the fortunes of a squad that had lost 12 games in a row before beating Italy nine days ago.

Composure and self-belief were there for all to see in the Scotland squad’s performance against the Italians, as they kept their nerve to close out the win despite a fightback by the visitors.

They were even more in evidence against the Irish, who tried to blitz the home side in the first half but were steadily ground down in the second.

Ireland dominated much of that opening 40, but had no more than an early penalty to show for it, while Scotland took the lead on the verge of half time through an unconverted Meryl Smith try.

The match appeared to be in the balance at that point, but head coach Bryan Easson was convinced that things were already turning in Scotland’s favour.

“We knew Ireland would come out in the first half and throw everything at us, and they did,” he said. “So it was just about continuing to be patient.

“We weren’t overly happy in the first half as we gave up some easy ball when we got in some good positions. We hadn’t really fired a shot and to go in 5-3 up was brilliant. That probably gave us a little bit of an edge going in.

“We weren’t annoyed at half time, it was just about being patient. We were in a good place, there was no panic, it was just ‘Let’s keep doing what we’re doing’.

“We knew the space would come. And the second half was outstanding – relentless.”

After Lana Skeldon had stretched Scotland’s lead to 10-3, Ireland soon drew level. But that was as good as it got for the Wooden Spoon winners, who were unable to withstand the sheer dynamism of the Scots’ attack in the closing 25 minutes.

Leah Bartlett put the home side back in front, Fran McGhie got the bonus-point with the try of the night, and Rachel Malcolm and Chloe Rollie touched down in the closing minutes. Helen Nelson converted three of the six tries, and a match that had appeared to be an even battle for 50 minutes or more ended up as something far closer to a rout.

“We fired at the right time in terms of going through the middle and then pulling the trigger when we got a shot,” Easson said of that second-half scoring spree. “I thought the scrum was good, I thought the maul and line-out were good, and we just pulled when we had to.”

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Scotland’s return to winning ways has been the fact that they did it without so many senior players. Sarah Bonar, Emma Wassell, Molly Wright, Lisa Cockburn and Jenny Maxwell have missed out on the whole tournament through injury, while Rhona Lloyd and Shona Campbell were absent throughout on GB Sevens duty.

“The thing that is making us proud is the squad that we’re building,” Easson added. “We’ve got some real senior players that are not playing, but we’re building a group. That’s two wins with some junior players in terms of cap numbers, so what we’re building is so much better. We’ve not got a squad of 23, we’ve got one of 35 players who can play at this level.”

Easson kept faith with those “junior” players as they came to terms with the standard of play that is required to win at Test level, and he has been repaid handsomely over the past two weeks. But, while Scotland are clearly a team on the way up, the coach knows it will take some time to compete with the likes of England and France, the Six Nations champions and runners-up respectively.

“Catching up on England and France doesn’t happen overnight,” he said. “We’re professional now. It will take two or three years to get there.

“That’s not our yardstick. Our barometer is to win these games and that’s the pleasing thing.”

After a well-earned break, the next step for Scotland will be the new WXV tournament in the autumn. It is a three-tier global competition, to be held annually except for World Cup years, and by finishing fourth in the Six Nations Easson’s side have qualified for the second tier. Full details are expected to be announced by World Rugby in the coming weeks.