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Tyler Bleyendaal's Munster career began with a big win over Ulster

Young Munster man Diarmuid McCarthy continued his resurgence with another two tries.

TYLER BLEYENDAAL’S MUNSTER career began in victory as the province’s ‘A’ team beat the Ulster Ravens 41-27 at Naas RFC.

Tyler Bleyendaal Bleyendaal is a strong distributor from out-half or inside centre. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

The New Zealander started at out-half for Mick O’Driscoll’s side and kicked two conversions as Munster ran in six tries to gain revenge over Ulster following the Ravens 15-13 win in Banbridge a fortnight ago.

Debutant Conor Oliver scored Munster’s first try of the afternoon early on and is certainly an interesting prospect for the province. The former Blackrock College student came through Leinster’s age-grade system and is part of the Ireland U20 squad that will travel to Italy for the Junior World Championship in June.

Similarly, two tries for the hugely gifted Diarmuid McCarthy after coming off the bench will have further piqued the interest of senior team head coach Anthony Foley.

McCarthy was a star at schools level for Castletroy College in 2008 before turning down an academy spot with Munster and fading out of rugby.

Diarmuid McCarthy McCarthy crosses for one of his two tries. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

However, the lightning fast wing/centre has returned to the game with Young Munster this season and his impressive form with the Cookies has convinced Munster to bring him into the fold.

After scoring an excellent try in Young Munster’s agonising extra-time semi-final defeat to Lansdowne in the Ulster Bank League last weekend, McCarthy’s ongoing progress will be intriguing to follow.

The other try-scorers for Munster against the Ravens were senior fullback Johne Murphy, pacy wing Luke O’Dea, and ‘A’ team debutant Ollie Lyons, another exciting prospect.

The former Bedford School back row is an Exile and has spent time with the academies of the Northampton Saints and Wasps. His ball-carrying power is believed to be a major strength of his game and it remains to be seen whether he is now in line for a place in Munster’s academy.

Tyler Bleyendaal offloads to teammate Cathal Sheridan Bleyendaal offloads to Cathal Sheridan, now back from a long-term arm injury. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

UL Bohs centre David Johnston added two conversions and a penalty for Munster in Naas after taking over the kicking duties from Bleyendaal.

For Foley and the rest of the Munster management, seeing Bleyendaal out on the pitch after his lengthy recovery from a worrying neck injury must have been a relief. The former New Zealand U20 captain and Crusaders playmaker should add class on a regular basis next season.

Ulster’s tries came through prop Kyle McCall, fullback Peter Nelson, and replacement Stephen Mulholland, with out-half Michael Heaney kicking the rest of their points.

Olly Lyons scores a try Munster back row Lyons dots down. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

MUNSTER A: Johne Murphy; Darren Sweetnam, David Johnston, Dan Goggin, Luke O’Dea; Tyler Bleyendaal, Cathal Sheridan; Liam O’Connor, Niall Scannell, Peter McCabe; John Madigan, Frank Bradshaw Ryan; Dave O’Callaghan, Conor Oliver, Jack O’Donoghue (captain).

Replacements: Luke O’Halloran, Niall Horan, JP Phelan, Lee Nicholas, Diarmaid Dee, Ollie Lyons, Neil Cronin, Gearoid Lyons, Robbie Deegan, Alex Wootton, Diarmuid McCarthy.

ULSTER RAVENS: Peter Nelson; Michael Allen, Mark Best, Sam Arnold, Matthew Hooks; Michael Heaney, David Shanahan; Kyle McCall, John Andrew, Ricky Lutton; John Donnan, Lewis Stevenson (captain); Connor Joyce, Clive Ross, Lorcan Dow.

Replacements: Paul Jackson, Ruairidh Murphy, Alex Thompson, Neil McComb, Frankie Taggart, Sean Reidy, Stephen Mulholland, Conor Young, Kieran Joyce, Adam Lidell, Peter Dunlop.

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Murray Kinsella

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