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Tyler Bleyendaal impresses as Munster earn emphatic pre-season win

On the day of his 23rd birthday, new arrival, South African lock Jean Kleyn also made a positive impression.

Munster’s Duncan Williams sets to pass during tonight's match against Worcester Warriors.
Munster’s Duncan Williams sets to pass during tonight's match against Worcester Warriors.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Munster 52
Worcester Warriors 21

EIGHT DAYS OUT from the first game of their Pro12 season away to Scarlets, Munster devoured a poor Worcester Warriors outfit with a seven-try victory at Musgrave Park.

Had this been a competitive game Rassie Erasmus’ side would have had the bonus point win wrapped up before half-time as they ran in four first-half tries in a dominant display with Tyler Bleyendaal to the fore.

Most eyes were on out-half Bleyendaal in his first game for the province since last December and the New Zealander was impressive for the 53 minutes he featured.

He kicked five from five from the tee before the interval; sent Simon Zebo in for the third try; and then launched the move for Darren Sweetnam’s try with a delicate clip over the top that Zebo latched on to.

On the day of his 23rd birthday new arrival, South African lock Jean Kleyn, made his first start for the province and he too impressed.

His good defensive work at the lineout helped to force a turnover before James Cronin crossed after seven minutes.

Operating on the tighthead side of the scrum, Kleyn played a big part in the winning of a penalty try for his side at a 23rd minute scrum, and eight minutes from the break it was his lineout steal that launched the move for Zebo’s score.

In a stop-start game, Donncha O’Callaghan was heavily involved for Worcester, who face Saracens in their Premiership opener next weekend. His big hit on Jack O’Donoghue set the tone from the kick-off, but his side struggled to put a few phases together. The loss of Carl Kirwan to injury after a lengthy stoppage on seven minutes didn’t help their cause though.

Munster were in total control at the interval with a 31-0 lead, and after a glut of replacements from both teams early in the second half, Munster ran in their fifth try through Ronan O’Mahony, which Ian Keatley converted.

To be fair, Warriors improved slightly in the second half and got their reward on the hour mark when replacement Josh Adams scored in the corner, while skipper GJ Van Velze and Perry Humphreys also breached the try line in the second half.

But despite finishing the game with just one of the team that started — Sweetnam — Munster cruised to the finish line.

Conor Oliver’s break led to a try from Cian Bohane in the 65th minute, before Ian Keatley ran in an intercept try from deep in his own half, eight minutes from time to cap a fine win.

Scorers – Munster: J Cronin, pen try, S Zebo, D Sweetnam, R O’Mahony, C Bohane, I Keatley tries; T Bleyendaal 4 cons, pen; I Keatley 3 cons.

Worcester Warriors: J Adams, GJ Van Velze, P Humphreys tries; R Lamb 3 cons

Munster: Simon Zebo; Darren Sweetnam, Dan Goggin, Rory Scannell, Ronan O’Mahony; Tyler Bleyendaal, Duncan Williams; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland (c), Dave O’Callaghan, Tommy O’Donnell, Jack O’Donoghue.

Replacements used: John Andress, Duncan Casey, Peter McCabe, Brian Scott, Colm O’Shea, Tomás O’Leary, Darren O’Shea, Conor Oliver, Robin Copeland, Dave Foley, Ian Keatley, Alex Wootton, Cian Bohane, Stephen Fitzgerald, Jack O’Donoghue.

Worcester Warriors: Jackson Willison; Dean Hammond, Wynand Olivier, Max Stelling, Cooper Vuna; Tom Heathcote, Jonny Arr; Val Rapava Ruskin, Niall Annett, James Johnston; Donncha O’Callaghan, Darren Barry; Alafoti Faosiliva, Carl Kirwan, GJ van Velze (c)

Replacements used: Marco Mama, Na’ama Leleimalefaga, Mike Daniels, Jaba Bregvadze, Tevita Cavubati, Josh Adams, Christian Scotland-Williamson, Ryan Lamb, Phil Dowson, Luke Baldwin, Perry Humphreys, Jamie Shillcock.

Referee: Dan Jones (WRU)

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Declan Rooney

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