Ireland full-back scores opening try in bonus-point victory in round two of Six Nations
Jordan Larmour’s brilliant footwork to score against Wales
Jordan Larmour showcased his brilliant footwork to score the opening try in Ireland’s 24-14 bonus-point win over Wales at the Aviva Stadium in the second round of the Six Nations.
It was a typically physical encounter between these two sides, with CJ Stander again in impressive form with his turnovers at the breakdown to win the Man of the Match award for the second week in a row.
Yet alongside the traditional pick-and-goes, we also saw more creativity in attack from both teams – and Larmour’s willingness to run the ball and use his sidestepping skills typifies this.
The Ireland full-back talks in the latest issue of Rugby World magazine about how he’s looking to become more of a ball player and act as a first receiver. It’s something he has been working on with Leinster coach Stuart Lancaster – and it paid dividends midway through the first half in Dublin…
Ireland were building patiently in the Wales 22 with a series of pick-and-goes following a lineout, then Conor Murray fired a long pass to Larmour, who used his footwork to find a way through several defenders in red.
Nick Tompkins tried to close down Larmour but as the full-back stepped back inside Tompkins went high with his tackle attempt and the Ireland player was able to break through. Larmour then used his momentum to weave past Josh Adams and Leigh Halfpenny, too, and ground the ball over the line.
It was an excellent finish – and one the Welsh defence will not enjoy watching again.
Wales showed decent skills of their own in scoring their first try. Dan Biggar passed to Alun Wyn Jones, who then popped an accurate offload out of the tackle to his fly-half. Biggar then released Tomos Williams into space and the scrum-half broke clear to score.
The TMO was happy that neither pass was forward and Biggar converted to give Wales a two-point lead after half an hour. Here is the Williams try…
It was a Welsh mistake that led to the game’s third try just a few minutes later, though. In fact, Wales made several uncharacteristic errors in this match and it cost them just as much as their inability to finish opportunities.
Back to the game’s third try. Williams knocked on close to the Welsh line after captain Jones seemed to catch him off-guard with a pass from a lineout.
Ireland got penalty advantage from the ensuing scrum, Bundee Aki and James Ryan made ground, and then Tadhg Furlong powered over – with a little help from Rob Herring and CJ Stander.
Johnny Sexton’s conversion meant the match was finely poised at 12-7 at half-time.
Another show of Irish power shortly after the break resulted in their third try. They kicked for a five-metre lineout from a penalty and their driving maul surged over the line, with Josh van der Flier awarded the try.
Hadleigh Parkes had a chance to reduce the deficit for Wales as he hit a hard line and stretched for the line, but he lost control as he tried to touch it down in the 56th minute.
Wales had other chances in the Irish 22 around that time but couldn’t convert them whereas the hosts were more clinical.
Andrew Conway scored the bonus-point try in the 75th minute after a concerted spell of pressure deep in the Welsh half. From a scrum they drew in the Welsh defence and Conway was released into space out wide – one of several times Ireland were able to catch Wales short of numbers in those channels – to run into the corner.
Justin Tipuric scored a consolation try from a driving maul in the final minute but it was not enough to give Wales even a losing bonus point.
In contrast, Ireland will travel to Twickenham in a fortnight with two wins from two – and noticeable improvements from their win over Scotland to this victory.
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