Munster crown Tyler Bleyendaal as Player of the Year

Darren Sweetnam gets the Young Player prize

BY Raf Diallo 17:40 Thursday 4 May 2017, 17:40 4 May 2017

Munster Player of the Year Tyler Bleyendaal ©INPHO/James Crombie

Tyler Bleyendaal has been named Munster Player of the Year for the 2016-17 season.

The Christchurch born New Zealander was honoured at the Munster Rugby Awards.

The 26 year old former Cantebury player saw off competition from team-mates John Ryan and Niall Scannell to land the prize after a season which saw the out half contribute 126 points in the Guinness Pro 12 and 97 in the European Rugby Champions Cup for the 2016-17 season.

In terms of his abilities and areas to work on, former Ireland head coach Eddie O'Sullivan suggested a few on Newstalk in January.

On his "brilliant hands" and work in possession, O'Sullivan said: "I think in terms of moving the ball, he's as good as there is around in terms of the depth he needs to take the ball."

Munster Young Player of the Year Darren Sweetnam and Player of the Year Tyler Bleyendaal ©INPHO/James Crombie

But he did point to the kicking as an area of slight concern, saying, "Now, his kicking game out of his hands is mediocre. It's not world class. But his Achilles heel is his place kicking."

Munster's Young Player of the Year went to 23 year old wing and full back Darren Sweetnam.

During the Pro 12 season, he has led the way for defenders beaten by a Munster player with 30 and also has most offloads in the competition with 18.

He also has the most Munster offloads in the Champions Cup with four. 

Other award winners include Conor Oliver who was named the winner of the John McCarthy Award for Greencore Munster Rugby Academy Player of the Year and Siobhan Fleming who is Women's Player of the Year.


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