WASATCH CUP 2012 PREVIEW: #1 BYU vs. #4 UTAH

April 4, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured, News & PR

 

Wasatch Cup 2011 Victors BYU at Rio Tinto Stadium

Provo, UT–It typically goes without saying that the annual Wasatch Cup rivalry between BYU and Utah is a monumental affair.

Just last year over 7,500 people overcame the cold and snow on March 5th to witness a 40-22 Cougar victory and on more than one occasion the Wasatch Cup has been decided by one try or less; most recently in 2010 where BYU beat a strong Utah side in Provo that included former USA Eagle Thretton Palamo by the score of 15-10.

But this year’s meeting between the two teams sees the landscape of collegiate rugby much changed from last year with 26-time National Champion Cal Berkeley electing to drop out of the nation’s premier collegiate rugby division.

This year marks the first year Cal will not vie for collegiate rugby’s top honor since the competition’s inception in 1980 and has had the Bears of Berkeley playing in 20 of the last 21 title games.

BYU and Utah, for their part have combined for 9 of the last 11 championship meetings with the Cal Bears, and as such the Wasatch Cup has proven to be the local and national litmus test for which Wasatch Front program will likely vie for championship honors.

Since the Wasatch Cup’s inception in 2004 BYU has largely owned exclusive rights to the Wasatch Cup, with the lone exception in 2005 where a Blake Burdette-led Ute side not only won the Wasatch Cup, but also beat BYU in the national semi-finals, to move on to the championship game against Cal.

Burdette, who’s also the current head coach for Utah said the Wasatch Cup is the measuring stick for where his program looks to be on the national stage.

“We look forward to playing this game each year,” Burdette said, “And it’s essential for us to play it because it shows where we stand each season as a program.”

Utah has played in the National Championship in 2002 and 2005 and brings a strong history of national respect.

Despite some ill-timed losses the Utah 2012 campaign has been impressive with the Utes looking improved in anticipation of their Saturday meeting against BYU.

Early losses to St. Mary’s in Moraga by 41-10 and Rugby Super League men’s team San Francisco Golden Gate 58-19 showed a youthful team that was looking to find an identity.

But a narrow and last-second defeat to the vaunted  Cal Berkeley at Rio Tinto Stadium by the score of 23-22 and recent big-margin victories over Arizona (68-15) and Arizona State (81-27) show that the Utes are starting to hit their stride.

The Utes are led by shifty All-American scrum half Don Pati who currently leads Utah in scoring, while utility back Tonata Lauti adds pace out wide to an already exciting Utah backline.

All-American front-rowers Mike Shephard and Nick Mostyn will also look to feature well against fellow All-American BYU front-rowers Mikey Su’a and Ray Forrester.

The physicality and finesse of the Utah attack will be on display should the Utes look to pull out the win in Provo.

BYU for their part will look to add to their 7 Wasatch Cup victories by defeating the Utes on their home turf of South Field.

The Cougars have never lost on South Field and hope to add Utah to their 2012 mix of South Field victims with St. Mary’s (53-17), Arizona (80-8) and Air Force (76-20) all having felt the sting of defeat in Provo.

“We love it here,” said BYU captain Ryan Roundy, “South Field is one of the greatest places to play rugby in America. And having the Wasatch Cup here will make it even more exciting.”

The Cougars own a 12-0 record on the season with two victories over RSL teams Old Puget Sound and the Denver Barbarians.

Headlining the Cougars are senior halfbacks Dylan Lubbe and Shaun Davies  who have led BYU to successive victories over the Utes since their 2008 arrival.

The Cougars will also likely lean on the leadership of Roundy who’s barging runs have set up centers Seki Kofe and Paul Lasike this year on numerous occasions.

Despite BYU’s undefeated season and Utah’s 3 losses in 2012 BYU head coach David Smyth says he knows Utah will be a very formidable foe come Saturday.

“We have a lot of respect for Utah,” said BYU head coach, “You can never look past them no matter what their or our records are and we know they will be up for the big game this Saturday. We’ll have to be on our best to make sure the game goes as we hope.”

As both teams line up for the Wasatch Cup 2012 each team will know their efforts will likely lead to an inside track towards a potential championship game at Rio Tinto Stadium on May 19th, with the victor likely owning the rights to the #1 seed from the Western Conference.

“What ever their [Cal Berkeley's] reason for dropping out was,” said Smyth,”It doesn’t change our goals or objectives and winning the Wasatch Cup is one of the first part of those.”

BYU and Utah will kick-off the Wasatch Cup 2012 this Saturday, April 7th at 1pm MT.

Tickets can be bought at the gate for $10 for adults, $5 for students with kids under the age of 12 being free. Groups of 20+ can get in for $2 per person.

Rugby fans will be entertained by a curtain-raiser match at 11am between Lowland Rugby Club and Wasatch Ravens 7th and 8th grade teams before the kick-off between Utah and BYU.  Gates open at 10.30am for the curtain-raiser match and cost for admission is $5 for all who arrive before 11.30am.

For more details on the Wasatch Cup 2012 and BYU’s preparations follow them on Facebook and Twitter. For more information on Wasatch Cup go to www.wasatchcup.com.

WASATCH CUP PAST RESULTS

  • 2011: BYU 40 UTAH 22
  • 2010: BYU 15 UTAH 10
  • 2009: BYU 59 UTAH 15
  • 2008: BYU 30 UTAH 27
  • 2007: BYU 21 UTAH 20
  • 2006: BYU 39 UTAH 3
  • 2005: UTAH 17 BYU 15
  • 2004: BYU 32 UTAH 19

Comments

15 Responses to “WASATCH CUP 2012 PREVIEW: #1 BYU vs. #4 UTAH”
  1. BYYou make me Proud! says:

    but will it be streamed??

  2. Haystacks Calhoun says:

    What is BYU TV showing ? Working dogs of America ? Or the 132nd viewing of wind at my back ?
    Show Rugby BYU TV !!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Can I get an “AMEN”?!?!

  4. BYYou make me Proud! says:

    I think everyone would appreciate a nice, succinct “yes” or “no” from someone in the BYU Rugby program on whether there will be streaming.

  5. BYYou make me Proud! says:

    it appears that all the amens in the world will not produce a simple answer to this question. good luck anyways cougars

  6. Dwight says:

    I actually sent a email to BYUtv and expressed my sincere disappoinment for not televising rugby games and they replied back saying that they only have the physical and financial abilitiy to show NCAA sanctioned games, but I will still give you an amen.

    I do like watching football and basketball on BYU tv but I want to see more of the greatest sport ever which is Rugby to be teleivised both road and home games. Can I get an amen to that one as well my Rugby bretheren and sisters

  7. The NCAA doesn’t sanction rugby games. They don’t give a fig about rugby. BYU has televised LaCrosse before and I doubt that LaCrosse is NCAA sanctioned. And BYU rugby was on t.v. last year (vs. one of those teams they beat by 100 points) and did the NCAA give BYU a waiver for that game? The NCAA doesn’t regulate club sports and I would guess that 97% of the college
    rugby programs have club status.

  8. Haystacks Calhoun says:

    I called BYU TV and was told it was too expensive to show rugby matches. People from all faiths from all over the world will watch rugby on BYU TV. I will keep calling because most of their shows are boring,aged repeats. Show Rugby !!!!!!!!

  9. BYYou make me Proud! says:

    byutv not broadcasting is one thing. but not webstreaming is a whole other thing. you just need a camera, a computer, and an internet connection to do that. all of which south fields has.

  10. Haystacks Calhoun says:

    BYU Rugby facebook page says they are having trouble with bandwith which they are trying to address andmay or may not be ready fo the match. You wouldnt think it was that difficult.

  11. bigddan11 says:

    The bandwidth is a problem when you’re doing it alongside a softball DH on BYUtv. The game was originally going to be streamed live, but due to the bandwidth problems, they have live updates on Twitter. BYU 16, Utah 15 at Halftime. I believe the game will still be posted here in the videos section of BYU Rugby though next week for us to enjoy.

    As far as BYUtv goes, we don’t know what all the school said they can and can’t air in terms of sports. They have typically aired 1 hockey, 1 or 2 rugby, and 1 or 2 lacrosse games a season. this year they aired 0 hockey, 0 rugby, and 0 lacrosse games. If they air any men’s soccer games, it will solely be because it’s in the summer when there aren’t NCAA Sports. If the school said they have to air NCAA sports first, then you have men’s and women’s volleyball, gymnastics, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, football, tennis, track & field, and swimming that would come first. Now I’ve heard BYUtv doesn’t have enough sponsors to cover all the live sports (which is why they are doing around 100 live broadcasts instead of the originally stated 150 live broadcasts), and the school said give priority to the NCAA sponsored sports, which is why there’s no Rugby, Lacrosse, or hockey on BYUtv this year. If the sponsorships increase, then likely we’ll get rugby back on BYUtv.

  12. Chuck Call says:

    BYU is just making unreasonable excuses as to why the don’t/won’t show BYU rugby on their channel. After all, the show women’s basketball – who in the world watches or cares about it????

    And what about women’s softball???? How many watch that on BYUTV.

    Apparently BYU doesn’t care how many people want to watch a sport.

  13. Haystacks Calhoun says:

    BYU is missing the boat. I suspect some sinster deal with the NCAA .

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