Keith Wood Has A Theory About Tyler Bleyendaal’s Drop In Form

Other half.

Former Ireland and Munster hooker Keith Wood reckons Tyler Bleyendaal’s huge dip in form this season is down to the fact that he’s not been playing alongside Conor Murray.

The New Zealander has been way off the pace this season, missing a number of kicks and making a large amount of uncharacteristic errors. There has even been calls for Ian Keatley to retain his place at ten this weekend against Leinster after a thrilling MOTM performance against Cardiff.

Interestingly the Cardiff game saw Keatley play alongside Murray, in the Lions star’s first game of the season for the province. Speaking on Off The Ball, Wood said:

“Bleyendaal hasn’t hit his straps and for me, Conor Murray has a huge impact and influence on who plays at 10. Bleyendaal suffers outside Duncan Williams and doesn’t play as well outside him and doesn’t seem to play with that level of confidence.”
“I wouldn’t be writing him off just yet and I think he has skills and capabilities that would keep him number one but he just needs to be playing with Murray.”
“He just doesn’t get the ball where he wants it (outside Williams), that’s what it looks like for me and his confidence seems to drop a little bit.”

If you look back at probably Bleyendaal’s worst game for Munster last season, (the Champions cup semi-final against Saracens) guess who wasn’t playing? In fairness not many tens wouldn’t miss having arguably the best nine in the world inside them. Will Bleyendaal be given a chance to play alongside Murray this weekend?

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Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor at RugbyLAD. Any queries big or small you can reach him at [email protected]

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