Brian O'Driscoll breaks down the Jordan Larmour box of tricks


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Thom Malone
Thom Malone

13.33 13 Feb 2020


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Jordan Larmour has enjoyed a brilliant start to his career as Ireland full-back in residence with two excellent performances so far in the Six Nations.

Ireland legend Brian O'Driscoll has been looking into Lamour's bag of tricks for Off The Ball.

Host Eoin Sheehan put it to O'Driscoll that the build to Ireland's opening try drew parallels with an NFL offensive line, with Captain Jonathan Sexton the quarterback.

Running Back

The former Ireland captain was in no doubt that if Sexton is our Tom Brady, what Larmour's position is.

"The running back in Jordan Larmour is sitting behind Johnny Sexton as well. We saw it in the Scottish game where there was a break in the first 10 or 15 minutes, where he worked hard from a ruck on the left-hand side and he's the extra body creating numbers on the right-hand side.

"He does that all the time for Leinster the whole time. That's his point of difference.

"He has an ability under fatigue to be able to coast, coast, coast and then accelerate and stay on the gas when he makes his break.

"He got an offload to Conor Murray, ultimately it didn't come to anything, but they've made 40 or 50 metres up the pitch.

"Just through hard work and through being able to identify (opportunities) and being able to outwork the opposition."

When breaking down the try Jordan Larmour scored against the Welsh when he appeared to beat a third of the team, O'Driscoll sensed it was a situation Conor Murry had been sniffing out for Larmour.

"I felt as though Conor Murray was looking for it for a while." The former Lions captain saw similarities with how Ulster use Larmour's Ireland back three colleague.

"It's a bit like when Jacob Stockdale gets an opportunity one-on-one, Ulster try and go to him a lot."

Opportunities

"It's about creating those opportunities for Larmour," said O'Driscoll who was in no doubt who was in no doubt about where the genesis of the try lay.

"It starts with Conor Murray's pass. The quality of it and where Larmour has to go with it. It immediately sends him on an overs, which is an outside break.

"The pass is out in front of him, which means he is accelerating going full tilt on to it. He has to stretch for it. This is exactly the sort of pass you want to stress defences."

While O'Driscoll was critical of the "disappointing" Welsh defence in this instance, with the first contact on Jordan Larmour made ten metres from the line.

However, given the bag of tricks, the video analysts will have identified as threats in Larmour meant the Welsh defence was forced into making the mistake of drifting hard on the potential line break to prevent "getting smoked on the outside."

The former Leinster centre concedes that the natural instinct when accelerating to go high and grab, "it's just instinct." It couldn't prevent the try of the sidestep and another "weak" tackle from Tomos Williams.

Best Position

With some calls for another distributor such as Addison to come into the Ireland team, questions have been raised about shifting Jordan Larmour to the wing. O'Driscoll is in no doubt about his best position and why.

"Undoubtedly better off at full-back, he gets more opportunities. I thought he had really good balance to his game at the weekend.

"Even when he runs down a blind alley he's got good fight. he's not someone that concedes in the tackle and accepts a big impact coming at him.

"He might look small in stature, he's not tiny, he's bulky and obviously very powerful." O'Driscoll compared the Irish full-back to South African World Cup-winning winger Cheslin Kolbe. "He's got that explosiveness."

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Brian O'Driscoll Brian O'Driscoll On Off The Ball Ireland Jordan Larmour Leinster Leinstertainment Rugby Six Nations

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