herald

Saturday 17 November 2018

'Blues have it all Toulouse'

Larmour and Leinster looking to expel any complacency

Leinster’s Jordan Larmour in the thick of the action against Wasps at the RDS last Friday night
Leinster’s Jordan Larmour in the thick of the action against Wasps at the RDS last Friday night

Jordan Larmour is all about attacking life.

It is why Leinster's mantra to grab the Champions Cup, rather than just defend it has struck a chord.

"I think we talked last week about not being complacent," said the 21-year-old.

"Some teams might think that if they won last year, then they're defending the title, whereas we're thinking that we're going to go get it.

"I think that helps drive out complacency and we know how hard it is to win it."

What was new for the rookie last season is not quite so unfamilair this time around.

He has already banked the experience from going one-on-one against Nemani Nadolo, quite literally the biggest challenge in world rugby, in the hostile home of Montpellier.

"It was just kind of dealing with the whole occasion and the crowd," recalled Larmour.

"It was my first time playing at that level in France, so I was just trying to stay calm and composed. Robbie (Henshaw) was a great help. He was playing thirteen that game, so he was just talking to me in defence.

"I was trying to stay connected with him and then just trying to take down the big man."

Larmour marshalled Nadolo by any and all means necessary, even if it was to show the Fijian the outside and simply jump him like a back-alley mugger.

"You prepare for everything so you're always working on whatever you need to work on," he said.

"You can always go back and say, 'oh, I did that before', so it kind of helps you in the long run, knowing in the back of your head that you've done it before."

The form of James Lowe has taken some of the shine and pressure from Larmour's shoulders.

There is no admission of what they call 'winger's envy', just a determination to look and learn from the New Zealander.

"Just seeing how he works off his wing and how he integrates the forwards and backs," Larmour said of his Kiwi team-mate.

"Trying to see how he does things and seeing if I can add them into my own game.

Struggle

"I suppose the biggest thing is trying to get my hands on the ball more and just offer in and around the ruck off nine or inside 10, outside 10, whatever it is."

In some ways, the bar was set at an Olympian height last Friday night at the RDS.

Leinster could struggle to get there again, especially on what is expected to be a heavy pitch against a heavier Toulouse pack.

Larmour offers a morsel of insight as to how Leinster will go about getting on the front-foot and speeding up the ball.

It is the small details that can make all the difference. For instance, there is the organisation that can be put in place to aid and abet an attack.

"As backs, arranging the forwards quicker, getting into shape quicker, so once the ball's there at the ruck we can play it straight away. We don't have to organise things, stuff like that," he said.

Certainly, it is panning out like a completely different test against Ugo Mola's Toulouse at Stade Ernest- Wallon on Sunday afternoon (Live BT Sport 2, KO 3.15,).

It will probably require a different style of rugby to what happened in round one, a more attritional approach on slower ground, with Jonathan Sexton as central as ever to the plan.

"We know that we have a target on our back and that teams are out to get us," warned Larmour.

"We're up for every challenge. We always say, 'bring it on'.

"There's a lot more in us and, hopefully, we can win the double again."

One round down and five to go.

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