We simply had to give Jordan Larmour top marks after his stunning performance in Chicago 4 months ago

We simply had to give Jordan Larmour top marks after his stunning performance in Chicago

IRELAND - 54

ITALY - 7

As appetisers for the main fare go, Jordan Larmour served up a beauty.

Larmour blitzed the Italians at Soldier Field, Chicago to register his first, second and third Test tries. His pace, awareness and footwork were absolutely incredible and his performance alone was worth tuning in for.

Ireland were almost over for a try after 80 seconds when Garry Ringrose opened up the Italian defence with a great step, only to slip just metres short of the line. They were undeterred and piled on into the Azzurri and were rewarded, minutes later, when Tadhg Beirne crashed over for his first Test try.

After that, it got turgid. Ireland pressed for a second score but Italy held strong and snapped back with 10 minutes of concerted pressure of their own. Their finishing was very poor, however, and they wasted some great opportunities.

Ireland woke up around the half hour mark and it was sparked by a superb Andrew Conway take and a lovely step by Jordan Larmour that left half the Italian defence for dead. Luke McGrath ran a nice support line and got the easy dot down.

Italy did get over, through Michele Campagnaro, after Rhys Ruddock's inside pass was picked off far too easily.ย HALF-TIME: Ireland 14-7 Italy

Seven points in it at half-time but another Tadhg Beirne score and a Jordan Larmour intercept try had it 28-7 after 47 minutes and, soon after, Joe Schmidt turned to his bench players.

Sean Cronin got his sixth international try not long after he was introduced before Jordan Larmour's footwork carved out a second try for himself. Italy had well and truly wilted and it was Garry Ringrose the next to cruise over with 15 minutes to play.

Just short of the half century mark until the final play of the game - a 75-metre slaloming run from Larmour and countless embarrassed Italian defenders.

Jordan Larmour - 10

Sweet step off his left foot, and acceleration soon after, to set up Luke McGrath's try and picked off that intercept try of his own after the break. Brilliant footwork, again, led to his second try and he will push Rob Kearney close for that No.15 jersey later this month. 249 metres gained off 11 carries, four clean breaks and 12 defenders beaten.

We know it was a ramshackle Italy side but Larmour deserves the 10/10.

Andrew Conway - 6

Got himself into the game by winning a couple of nice aerials after McGrath box-kicks. Did not do too much damage with ball-in-hand.

Garry Ringrose - 8

Showed great footwork to undo the Italian defence, 90 seconds in, but he lost his footing mere metres from the tryline. Kept the foot down in the second 40, setting up Larmour for a try and scoring one of his own on the right wing.

Bundee Aki - 7

Hard carries, as we so often expect from Aki. Had fun in the second half and set up Garry Ringrose for his try.

Jacob Stockdale - 7

Had gained 64 metres from three carries after only six minutes. Unfurled a couple of nice kicks but you would have banked on him bagging at least a couple.

Joey Carbery - 8

A tidy performance from the Munster 10 and he stood up well to most of what the Italians threw at him. And they threw a LOT. Lovely vision and slick passing in the backline but was forced back on more than one occasion in the tackle. 100% (5 from 5) from the kicking tee too.

Luke McGrath - 6

If this was an audition for the bigger November Tests, McGrath did not pass. A few sloppy handling and kicking mistakes but definitely improved as the game went on. Nice support line for his try.

Jack McGrath - 7

Got through a heap of work in his 51 minutes - 10 carries, 11 tackles stuck, handy set-piece contributions and plenty of rucks hit.

Niall Scannell - 6

Did well to latch onto Tadhg Beirne and help drive him over the line for his first try. Tidy enough.

Andrew Porter - 7.5

Loved his physicality. Really enjoyed himself out there. Did not make much ground on his carry but tackled well and was a nuisance at the breakdown.

Tadhg Beirne - 8.5

Sometimes rugby looks too easy for this guy. Powered over for his first international try after only four minutes. Teamed up with Jack McGrath for a crunching hit just outside the Irish 22. Cantered over for a second, early in the second half, and can be very happy with his outing.

Quinn Roux - 7.5

Great instinct to hop on a loose ball after a Carbery block-down. Smart kick up the line midway through the first half. Kept trucking until the end.

Rhys Ruddock - 7

Was having a fine first half until he gave up a try with a poor pass straight to Campagnaro. Redeemed himself with an intercept of his own, early in the second half, and it helped led to Beirne's second try.

Josh van der Flier - 7

That red scrum-cap of his was involved in so, so many breakdown battles and roved around with intent.

Jack Conan - 7

Made a mountain of tackles in the first half and rarely got to open up with ball in hand, until Italy faded after the break.

Replacements

To follow....