Bleyendaal comeback a boost for Reds
Munster forwards coach Mick O'Driscoll says New Zealander Tyler Bleyendaal could feature for the senior side before the end of the season after he came through an hour unscathed on his return.
Munster 'A' 41 Ulster Ravens 27
The Kiwi had not played since joining the province after suffering a serious neck injury when playing for Canterbury in August, but made his belated bow at Naas RFC. He might have imagined his first appearance for the province in different circumstances, but despite playing up the Forenaughts hill and into a strong, cold wind, the out-half performed well on his return to action, creating three first-half tries and showing some nice touches.
"He hasn't played in so long, it's great for him to get through it," O'Driscoll said. "He's put in a lot of work since coming over, a lot of strengthening stuff and rehab.
"He is the ultimate professional, he works really hard. We're very happy with how he had come into the game and for us to get him through 60 minutes is super. All going well and he comes of this okay, we can push (him) on a little and who knows he might even feature this season. It might be a bit soon, we don't know yet just depends on how he is after it."
Led by the ever-impressive Jack O'Donoghue, Munster 'A' led for most of an entertaining affair with the No 8 taking a nice line of Bleyendaal to set up Conor Oliver for the opening try, before Johne Murphy took a pass from his out-half to score minutes later.
The Kiwi missed his first two conversion attempts, but nailed a third from the touchline after a neat move from the back of the scrum saw Luke O'Dea touch down, but Ulster hit back through Kyle McCall and Peter Nelson either side of half-time.
That left Munster behind, but a fine John Madigan break helped set Olly Lyons up for a try, before Young Munster's Diarmuid McCarthy sealed the win with a pair of fine finishes, cancelling out Stephen Mulholland's try.
O'Driscoll said he hoped to see the former schools star signed up to a senior deal next season.
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"We're hopeful of getting something for him," he said of McCarthy. "He certainly did himself no harm today. When he came on he did very well, carried well and scored two good tries."
Munster 'A' - J Murphy; D Sweetnam, D Johnston, D Goggin, L O'Dea; T Bleyendaal, C Sheridan; L O'Connor, N Scannell, P McCabe; J Madigan, F Bradshaw Ryan; D O'Callaghan, C Oliver, J O'Donoghue (capt). Reps: L O'Halloran, N Horan, JP Phelan, L Nicholas, D Dee, O Lyons, N Cronin, G Lyons, R Deegan, A Wootton, D McCarthy.
Ulster Ravens - P Nelson; M Allen, M Best, S Arnold, M Hooks; M Heaney, D Shanahan; K McCall, J Andrew, R Lutton, J Donnan L Stevenson (capt), C Joyce, C Ross, L Dow. Reps: P Jackson, R Murphy, A Thompson, N McComb, F Taggart, S Reidy, S Mulholland, C Young, K Joyce, A Lidell, P Dunlop.
Ref -S Gallagher (Leinster)