Straight-up Larmour admits Leinster got ‘ziggy-zaggy’

Not for Jordan Larmour the comforting blankets of self-pity or self-denial.

If there was a time for that cloak to be draped over himself then it was Sunday, in the immediate wake of Leinster’s 10-point loss to Saracens in the Heineken Champions Cup. 

Larmour’s preference was for a head-first dip in ice-cold reality.

The wing had watched the final over again twice by the time the squad sat down as a unit yesterday afternoon to dissect the innards of the contest in Newcastle and pinpoint the moment and the movements that cost them a fifth title.

Not everyone did likewise but then teams are made up of individuals and people do tend to react to victory and defeat differently. 

And it’s not as though Larmour’s mind wasn’t on events just passed anyway.

Indulging in long walks or sitting down for family dinner is all well and good if you can ignore the nagging voice in your head after a defeat like that. 

Larmour couldn’t so pulling up a pew and pressing play on the game’s recording made sense.

“It’s pretty grim (Sunday), to be honest. All you’re thinking about is the game, it’s hanging over you. It always helps when you go into the (next) game and you can see the solutions of it which helps you feel better.

“The easiest thing I find is to get into training straight away, get back playing. Just move on from it. 

"Obviously you go through it and take the learnings from it, what you can do better. The big thing is to keep on kicking on.”

It’s not as if there is much time for reflection from here in. Not with Munster coming to Dublin this Saturday for a Guinness PRO14 semi-final. Leinster will have long digested, individually and collectively, their errors by then.

Larmour’s take was sought on the attack specifically and he accepted that the province could have “taken the edges” a tad more. 

That seems to chime with Jack Conan’s take after the game that their attack had been predictable.

“Certainly, at times, we got ziggy-zaggy. We didn’t really know where we were going. 

"We play at our best when we’re playing with momentum, playing on top of teams, getting over the gain line. They weren’t allowing us to do that.”

It’s one thing to say that Saracens have provided a template for Munster this weekend. 

It’s another thing entirely for Munster, or any other side, to match the English side’s ability to follow through on it.

Leinster may be bruised but they aren’t broken.

The injury bulletin issued yesterday suggested that Sean Cronin had come through his 55 minutes unscathed after recent absences while Jamison Gibson-Park and Josh van der Flier are available again after injury.

The mental well-being will be more difficult to gauge.

“There are a lot of sore bodies in there and the early part of the week is getting them right,” said Larmour. 

“We are all highly motivated people, we want to win. Getting that taste of success last season, we just want more.

“Dealing with the disappointment of last weekend, it’s going to drive us on this weekend to be even better. There is everything to play for. We want to defend our PRO14 title. We’re ready to go.”

Larmour’s appetite for the next game is understandable given the rarity of opportunity that came his and James Lowe’s way against Saracens at St James’ Park, but Munster will hope to pose their own questions along the touchlines.

Leinster’s 21-year-old flyer knows that only too well given the stretch of weeks and sometimes months he has spent on national duties with the likes of Keith Earls and Andrew Conway this season and last.

“They are world-class players and between them they have scored a lot of tries this season. They are serious threats when you give them a bit of space; good under the high ball.

“It’s going to be a good challenge for us this weekend and I know we are all looking forward to it. 

"As I said, two teams who are going to want to go at it hard. It’ll be a good one to watch.”

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