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'Irrepressible' Larmour shines for Ireland with man-of-the-match display

The 22-year-old shone at fullback in a big win over Samoa.

THE SAMOANS SIMPLY couldn’t get their hands on Jordan Larmour at times in Fukuoka tonight.

The Ireland fullback beat 12 defenders in an exciting man-of-the-match performance as he stepped into in Ireland’s number 15 shirt in Rob Kearney’s absence.

While Kearney remains the firm favourite to start Ireland’s World Cup quarter-final next weekend, Larmour’s showing once again underlined his talent. Still just 22, he is already an important part of Joe Schmidt’s squad and he was a constant thorn in Samoa’s side as Ireland won 47-5 in front of a loud Irish crowd in Fukuoka.

jordan-larmour-tackled-by-tim-nanai-williams Larmour was outstanding for Ireland. Source: Jayne Russell/INPHO

Larmour scored a second-half try but his most impressive moment was perhaps his assist for Johnny Sexton’s first try in the first half, as the fullback accepted a pass from his out-half, threw a dummy as he accelerated, hammered a fend out at Samoa captain Jack Lam to break and then slipped a one-handed pass back inside to Sexton after drawing in the last defender.

“He’s a good man to run after in case he makes a half break,” said Joey Carbery in admiration post-match. “For Johnny’s first try, he stepped inside and gave the offload. Jordan is some runner with the ball.”

Of course, it’s Schmidt’s verdict that matters most to the Ireland players.

So while Larmour might be pleased to hear that his head coach praised his performance, there might also be some disappointment that Schmidt once again underlined the Leinster man’s versatility.

Perhaps he is destined to be wearing the number 23 shirt in next weekend’s quarter-final.

“I think Jordan keeps putting his hand up and that’s one thing we really like about him,” said Schmidt. “He puts his hand up no matter where he ends up.

“Look back to that Japan game, he ends up at 13 and Luke McGrath was on the wing. Jordan ended up at 12 tonight, with Keith Earls at 13. I think his flexibility, his enthusiasm – he’s irrepressible. I don’t know how many tackles he slipped tonight.

jordan-larmour-on-his-way-to-scoring-a-try The 22-year-old beat defenders for fun against Samoa. Source: Jayne Russell/INPHO

“He got the ball under real pressure a few times and also created opportunities from having the ball under pressure. When he got that ball with a little bit of time and space to move, I thought when he took the outside break and got the fend and then the timing and the accuracy of his inside offload to Johnny for the try was top-notch.

“He’s a youngster who we try to have involved; we’re just not sure where sometimes. Sometimes he is a little bit maverick and he wanders around because he’s not quite sure where he’s playing at any one point but part of that is probably our point because we keep swapping him around.

“But we swap him around because he’s so versatile and because his skillset and his enthusiasm allow him to survive wherever we put him. I thought he was really good tonight.”

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella  / Reports from Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium

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