JORDAN LARMOUR is hoping to cut loose and set the record straight against Wales after being footloose against Scotland.
Following Saturday’s narrow win, Andy Farrell said it was hard for opponents to second guess what Larmour was doing because he did not always know himself.
But, even so, the full-back knows he should have done better when a breakaway try like Beibhinn Parsons scored for the women’s team the following day was on the cards at the Aviva Stadium.
Larmour said: “Stepping into touch is never a good thing. I was aware the touchline was there but I didn’t think it was that close.
“Andrew Conway hit with me with the pass that Huw Jones kind of read. I was caught in two minds whether to kick it as soon as I caught it.
“It’s getting real tight there and I’m just trying to sneak around him, just a little bit.
“But I thought he was going to get on to me so I tried to get on the outside of him and step back in. I’ll definitely learn from that.
“Playing on the wing, you always hear, ‘Don’t run into touch’, so I’m well aware of it, just a silly error from me.
“It was definitely the right decision, a two on one, so I just needed to kick that, not step into touch. Then we wouldn’t be talking about it.”
If Larmour’s execution let him down, he took some solace from the fact that Farrell backed his decision to try to run with it.
And the 22-year-old is keen to keep the opposition guessing as Farrell’s men gear up to face a side which threatened to keep Ireland scoreless last year en route to the Grand Slam as they racked up a 25-0 lead before Larmour’s consolation try in the 83rd minute.
He added: “We talk about having an unpredictable attack. You don’t want to be predictable because then you’re easier to defend.
“Teams can see what you’re doing so it’s definitely something we look to do so yeah, we have that freedom to go out and have a go.
“Obviously our game plan is still there but if the opportunity arises you’ve got to take them. It’s about creating opportunities and taking them so hopefully this weekend we can do the same.”
WILLIAMS IS A FAN
And Wales legend Shane Williams believes that Larmour has the talent to upset Wayne Pivac’s men.
Williams admitted: “I’m a big fan. I enjoy watching him play.
“I used to play my best rugby when I was relaxed, comfortable and confident. I think he does the same as well. He enjoys taking defenders on.
“He’s very difficult to mark because he pops up in positions where a full-back or a winger shouldn’t. Very unorthodox.
RUGBY NEEDS JORDAN
“That, for a defensive line which is very well organised, is a nightmare. Perhaps that’s where I used to get my gains. Half the time I didn’t know what I was doing so how are the opposition going to know? Jordan’s one of those players. He should keep doing that.
“Rugby can a bit too structured at times and we need the likes of Jordan to do things differently. He’s got great feet, he enjoys taking defenders on.
“He takes two defenders out of the game every time he gets the ball, which means that guys on the outside must be clapping their hands. Long may it continue. The advice I’d give him is keep smiling.
“He should enjoy it because there will be days when it doesn’t go your way. You might make a mistake and they score on the other side of the field, but don’t change anything in the way you play at the moment because he’s doing the business.
“I’m sure we will see mistakes but I dread to think how many mistakes I made over the years. I did a few good things but I made mistakes as well.”
Ireland made plenty in the corresponding fixture last year with Farrell, then defensive coach, believing a failure to adapt was chief among them.
Farrell said: “I thought they played the conditions really well and I thought they were really physical on the back of a really good kicking game. They certainly didn’t overplay.
“They got seven points up in the wet very early and I remember us having a full length of the field line break which didn’t go our way in the end.
“It’s very hard to claw it back when they’re going for a Grand Slam and they’ve got a bit of a winning edge in such poor conditions. I thought they played the conditions better than us.”
As painful a memory as that is, Larmour — who will start a second consecutive competitive game for the first time for Ireland this weekend — believes it will serve its purpose.
He said: “Wales are playing really good rugby, they’re Grand Slam champions and the last time they played us they gave us a good thumping, so we have that in the back of our heads.
“We can use that, definitely. When you lose by a score that big, you feel quite embarrassed.
“You have it in the back of your head but all our focus this week is trying to have a good performance and ultimately getting the win.”