Ireland began their Rugby World Cup campaign in style as they defeated Scotland by 27-3 in Yokohama thanks to four tries and a dominant display.
James Ryan, Rory Best, Tadhg Furlong and Andrew Conway all dotted down to give the number one ranked team in the world the perfect start to Pool A.
So many players stood out in the victory, which included all of Ireland’s back three Jacob Stockdale, Andrew Conway and Jordan Larmour.
Playing at full-back due to an injury to Rob Kearney, Larmour came under particular scrutiny before the game with many, including the RTÉ panel expecting Scotland to target the Leinster man, especially under the high-ball.
Larmour though, looked composed under the high-ball and strong in possession for the majority of the game in Yokohama.
Following the victory, the panel of former Irish head coach Eddie O’Sullivan and former Irish players Stephen Ferris and Jamie Heaslip got into an interesting exchange over Larmour’s potential at full-back.
Ferris started by praising the back three as a whole, but O’Sullivan felt that they came under no pressure, to which Heaslip argued that Larmour proved the former Irish head coach wrong for “calling him out.”
Ferris: “Under the high ball I thought Jordan Larmour was superb. The back three that we had all these concerns about they were good.”
O’Sulllivan: “But they weren’t under any pressure though?”
Heaslip: “You were calling him out saying he’s not good in the air and took all the high balls, absolutely no problem. Defensively the back three swung very well and shut down Scotland defensively.”
O’Sullivan: “I didn’t call him out. The video this week showed him catching balls in the air and dropping balls.”
Heaslip: “That was one game.”
O’Sullivan: “It was the only game he played at full-back for Ireland.”
An argument appeared to be brewing between O’Sullivan and Heaslip, who have been involved in a couple of interesting squabbles over the past couple of days on the panel.
O’Sullivan outlined that he felt Larmour was never really put under any pressure from the Scots, however, the game will still help to build the Leinster man’s confidence in the full-back position going forward.
“That was a concern we highlighted and we thought Scotland would try to highlight it. They kicked to him and he caught the ball, he did his job, he was under zero pressure.
“He did a fine job. We never said he was a bad player we said from what we’ve seen, he’d be targeted for that and he answered the question.
“It’s a good game under his belt. He’s going to be more confident, he certainly has proven himself but we had to ask that question, we couldn’t ignore the fact. I think it’s a good discussion.”
You can watch their exchange here: