Tuesday 23 July 2019

'It was a pretty spectacular effort' - Joe Schmidt hails his star man after comfortable victory in Chicago

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt. Photo: Sportsfile
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt. Photo: Sportsfile

Cian Tracey in Chicago

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt heaped praise on the "spectacular effort" of hat-trick hero Jordan Larmour.

The 21-year old lit up Solider Field with a sensational individual performance in which he scored three second half tries as well as creating one for Luke McGrath.

Italy could not live with Larmour's electric footwork as he served up a devastating display of finishing on what was his first international start.

Larmour started at full-back before shifting to the right wing and he gave Schmidt something to think about before Argentina come to Dublin next weekend.

"Jordan managed to get on the ball a number of times and the way he set up Luke McGrath for his try in the first half was fantastic," Schmidt said following Ireland's 54-7 win at Solider Field.

"I think John Cooney was looking for one right at the end, he chased him all the way but he didn't require him.

"I do think it was a pretty spectacular effort from Jordan and he'll be delighted with that. The first ball he took in the air was good as well.

"There's a few positional things that he's still working on and we wanted to spread his time across 15 and the wing. We know he can slot in at 13 as well."

Ireland captain Rhys Ruddock echoed Schmidt's sentiments about Larmour saying: "It's unbelievably exciting. Every time he gets the ball, he's looking for opportunities.

"It's just hard to keep up with him at times as a back row, we need to be on his shoulder to support him, but luckily today he didn't need too much help when he got those opportunities. He's a quality player and it's good to have him in your team."

Conor O'Shea who is a former full-back himself, compared man-of-match Larmour to All Blacks legend Christian Cullen.

That Italy boss admitted that his side didn't help themselves as they struggled to contain the hugely talented youngster.

"He can run, we all know that," O'Shea added. "You would all love to be able to do that. He does remind you of a young Christian Cullen in what he can do.

"I am sure that there are certain areas of his game that he knows he needs to work on as well but if you give someone space and time with his ability, it's going to cost you and we did."

Ireland did not suffer any fresh injury concerns before they host the Pumas at the Aviva Stadium.

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