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Dublin: 10°C Monday 10 May 2021

Larmour: 'We rebuilt as a group and put in a performance that we are quite satisfied with today'

The Irish squad were happy with their day’s work, contrasting with much of the commentary around them.

JORDAN LARMOUR SAYS the Irish squad were satisfied with today’s Rugby World Cup performance against Russia following last Saturday’s shock defeat to hosts Japan. 

garry-ringrose-celebrates-scoring-their-fifth-try-with-jordan-larmour Jordan Larmour celebrates Ireland's fifth and final try with Garry Ringrose. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

A 35-0 win in Kobe this afternoon gave Ireland the four-try bonus point win they needed to maintain control over their own destiny in Pool A, and they are guaranteed progression to the quarter-finals if they win against Samoa on Saturday week. 

Ireland’s performance was far from convincing, however, with RTÉ pundit Eddie O’Sullivan called it “terrible”, and “like watching paint dry.” 

Larmour, by contrast, declared satisfaction. 

“Obviously the Japan game didn’t go our way”, Larmour told reporters after the game. 

“We reviewed that game and saw where we can improve on. It was a tough few days going through the game and trying to get over it, but I suppose the beauty of rugby is that next week you have a new challenge.

“You take your learnings from the Japan game and you move forward this week. I thought we did that well.

“Obviously the Japan loss hurt us a bit but we rebuilt as a group and put in a performance that we are quite satisfied with today.”

With the roof closed as a result of a World Rugby diktat, the heat and humidity in the Kobe Stadium made for slippery conditions and led to a litany of handling errors by both sides. 

“Obviously it was very hot and sweaty out there, which mad the ball quite slippy”, said Larmour. 

“But we know that going into the game. We know that we back ourselves in tough conditions. The ball was slippy but I thought at times we held onto it well, but obviously there were a few dropped balls and knock-ons that gave them access into the game.

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“We tried to use a bit of sticky spray on our hands but the ball does get very greasy out there and especially when your jersey starts to get wet and the sweat drips off your hands, it makes it tough.

“I think we could have been better some of the time and held onto the ball, but overall we are happy that we got the result today.”

Although Ireland were less-than-convincing in attack, they kept the Russians scoreless and Larmour revealed there was a significant focus on defence during the short lead-in to today’s game. 

“Going back to last week, our defence wasn’t good enough”, reflected Larmour. “Japan worked well and they got the score in the corner. That was a big focus this week.

“The Russians are big men. We had to have two-man hits against them. The defence this week was hugely important.” 

Having started the opening game against Scotland, Larmour has been restricted to the bench since the return of Rob Kearney. He played the final 20 minutes against Japan as a replacement for Chris Farrell, and here he replaced Kearney with half an hour to go. 

Although Larmour often seems right on the verge of lighting up a game, he insists fulfilling that promise is not dominating his thoughts. 

“I’m not really thinking about that, to be honest. I am just thinking about my role and my job within in the team.

“I am just sticking to the game-plan and trying to improve and get better. Every week there is a new challenge. This week was better. It’s important to keep building and improving as a group.”


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