As good a try as I’ve ever seen, proclaims Leo Cullen after Jordan Larmour spectacular

Interprovincial rivalries are one thing but when a try as good as Jordan Larmour’s gets scored, it was easy to find common ground among the opposing coaches after last night’s Munster-Leinster showdown.

As good a try as I’ve ever seen, proclaims Leo Cullen after Jordan Larmour spectacular

Larmour’s 70th-minute score, which saw the Leinster academy full-back score from 60 metres out, leaving three Munster players for dead in the process, sealed the bonus point for the visitors in what would be a 34-24 victory in front of a sell-out Thomond Park crowd.

The 21-year-old’s effort, which also saw Larmour hold off an excellent last-ditch tackle from Simon Zebo, put his side into a 32-19 lead and was, said his head coach Leo Cullen: “As good a try as I’ve ever seen. Pretty amazing, particularly in a fixture of this magnitude. Amazing bit of individual brilliance from him which extends out the score and we’re able to take a sigh of relief because I was getting a bit nervous before that.”

Nor was the brilliance of the try just seen through blue-tinted spectacles, with Munster boss Johann van Graan acknowledging the poor ‘Garryowen’ from Ian Keatley which Larmour swallowed to launch his run before heaping praise on the try scorer.

“We could have worked on our kick, but sometimes in this game you’ve just got to say ‘wow’,” van Graan said.

“Now I sat there and said those feet and that decision making, sometimes we forget that there is an opposition team as well, so well done to him for scoring that try.

“I thought (Larmour) was brilliant in the whole game. That’s pretty special and the big moments went Leinster’s way tonight. He had a big part to play in it.”

Cullen jokingly took some credit for Larmour’s try saying: “That’s exactly what I told him to do before the game so I’m glad he obliged.

“Actually we were laughing about it because I said to him ‘just go out and beat a load of defenders’ and that’s exactly what he did. So yea, it was an amazing try.”

“He’s like a bundle of energy. Every day he comes in and he’s just incredibly competitive, and yeah, he did well, it’s fair to say. That’s probably the biggest understatement of all time.”

The try came a couple of minutes after man of the match Dan Leavy had repelled a Munster siege on the Leinster line as he won a breakdown turnover with the game poised at 27-19 with 12 minutes remaining. It also put an end to an epic fightback from the home side, Munster having trailed 27-5 at half-time after an inept first 40 minutes.

Van Graan, experiencing his first defeat since becoming head coach in late November, said he had been “very frustrated” at half-time.

“We planned well for this game, our preparation in training went well. The players came in really refreshed this morning and we were up for this game. No excuses from our side so obviously we were frustrated.

“One or two things were said (at the interval). We needed to adjust our mindset and adjust our plan and we did so. Unfortunately, if this game went 10 minutes longer, we might have scored one or two more tries at the end.

“All credit to Leinster. This is an 80-minute game and they scored 27 points in the first half, we scored only five. We came back in the second half, 19-7, but we were just too far behind.”

For the new Munster boss, it was also an indication of the challenge facing him at the province, last night’s result echoing a pattern of big-game reverses experienced last season as well as derby defeats this season at both Leinster and Connacht under predecessor Rassie Erasmus.

“Rassie said it last year as well, in the big games, we are still one or two scores short so we’ll go back to zero plan again, just take it week for week, and then hopefully at the end of the season, we’ll make the improvements nearer to when the big games come, home and away.”

Van Graan now has to prepare for the January 1 visit to Ulster next Tuesday and he said the way his players respond to the Leinster loss was the acid test rather than the performance which preceded it.

“I always take it personally. I hate to lose. But yeah, you have got to be consistent in your thinking. This is a team game, we weren’t good enough tonight and then go back to zero, win or lose, and start again. that’s the brilliant thing about rugby and the brilliant thing about sport, you will lose and you will win.

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

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