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Munster’s Bleyendaal happy to win ugly at Edinburgh

Guinness PRO12 Rugby Editor

4 Feb 2017

Jaco Taute

It was close, but no cigar for Edinburgh as they just lost out to Munster 10-9 in their first Guinness PRO12 game this season at new permanent home Myreside.

And Munster captain Tyler Bleyendaal admitted his side had got off lightly after Blair Kinghorn missed a last-gasp penalty to snatch victory for the home side.

It looked for a long time as if Munster’s winning sequence would be ended as fly-half Jason Tovey scored three first-half penalties to hand the Scots a half-time lead.

However, Munster had remained in the contest, scoring their points thanks to a try from Ronan O’Mahony and a conversion from Bleyendaal, with the Munster No.10 sealing the win with a late penalty to make it seven league wins on the bounce.

That leaves Munster with just the one loss since late October – against Leicester Tigers in the European Rugby Champions Cup and now a point ahead of Ospreys in the Guinness PRO12 standings.

“We know we made a lot of errors but we stuck to our guns,” said Bleyendaal. “Before the game started we spoke about Edinburgh playing right up until the 80th minute because they are a fit side.

“It was very nearly a nail-biter that went against us, we have been on the receiving end of a last minute kick before but tonight it went our way.

“We had to just keep coming back to what we know we can do because Edinburgh was forcing us to make mistakes. We stuck to our plan, it was very tight but we’re just happy to finally get the win.”

O’Mahony was handed the man-of-the-match award after an all-action display, scoring the game’s only try from close range thanks to a brilliant offload from skipper Bleyendaal.

He said: “It was great to score a try and they are training ground moves, it’s great to be given licence to roam all over the pitch.

“It was unbelievable work from our forwards to manufacture the opportunity, it was a great scrum and it was a brilliant platform to play off and we’re just there to finish things off.

“We weren’t at the races tonight and I think anyone can see that, we had a high penalty count and spilt a lot of balls but sometimes you have those games and you need to head back to the training ground and improve once again.”

Edinburgh skipper Neil Cochrane was understandably downbeat at the final whistle after seeing his side lead for so long before giving away a second-half penalty that Bleyendaal landed.

“I watched the late penalty attempt, obviously it was bitterly disappointing,” said Cochrane.

“We were on the wrong end of the result and there are plenty of positives to take from the game but we need to look at ourselves and make sure we don’t make silly mistakes and give away silly mistakes at crucial times.

“There was a swing in the territory, we played too much rugby in our own half after the break and that wasn’t our game plan and that’s disappointing. We are very disappointed as we put a lot of effort into this game.”

Guinness PRO12 Final 2017, 27th May, Aviva Stadium, Dublin.
Ticket Information: Fans can still avail of an exclusive number of €30 tickets. Book via www.ticketmaster.ie. Further information: www.pro12rugby.com/final