Sunday 25 March 2018

Bleyendaal ready to lead from front

Munster's Tyler Bleyendaal. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Munster's Tyler Bleyendaal. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

Munster out-half Tyler Bleyendaal said he was honoured to be able to captain the province for the second time in victory over Dragons, but that he expects a massive test tomorrow against Ospreys in Wales.

With regular skippers CJ Stander, Billy Holland and Peter O'Mahony all away on Ireland duty, Bleyendaal has stepped into the key leadership role in recent games and can boast a 100 per cent winning record thus far.

But facing Ospreys in Liberty Stadium will be a real test of Bleyendaal and his team-mates, albeit they will be boosted by the return of a few of their international colleagues for the trip to Swansea.

But after last week's win over Dragons and his perfect six out of six from the tee, the New Zealander said he was thrilled to lead Munster in Cork.

"I think the guys were kind to me scoring round by the post, so I'll take that any day," said Bleyendaal, who recently signed a contract extension with the province.

"It was lovely to captain the side on the home ground in front of the Cork crowd. It was a great performance I thought.

"I thought we really kept the pressure on, we made a lot of errors and Dragons were a tough side as well. But we are very happy with the result. It was a young side, so we're happy.

"The support we've had all year has been great and the turnout at Irish Independent Park was absolutely fantastic."

But tomorrow in Swansea, a first-versus-second clash will really test Munster. Just one point separates the two teams ahead of this duel and the former Crusaders kicker is excited by the test.

"It's going to be a massive contest absolutely. They are up there at the top of the table and they've been there for a long time," said Bleyendaal.

Irish Independent

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