Click here to view the match.
Laramie, Wyoming – The BYU Cougars began their 2018-19 schedule with a convincing 113-0 victory versus the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming.
The Cougars got their first score of the season in the fifth minute by junior wing Coleman Meier. The scoring did not let up from there as the Cougars proceeded to notch 17 tries on the day with the final try coming on the last play of the game as senior wing Porter Thomas burst through the Cowboys defense to score.
The match-day squad featured many veterans, but also had a strong mix of new players. Three of the starting fifteen were true freshman – Ben Austin (lock), Cole Semu (inside center), and Isaiah Taliulu (outside center). In addition, David Nonu (hooker), Josh Stott (reserve prop), Josh Harden (reserve lock), Dylan Parry (reserve scrumhalf), Ezias Bigelow (reserve flyhalf), and Joe Palazzo (reserve lock) made their BYU debuts for a total of nine debutants in the match-day roster. Of the debutants, Ben Austin, Isaiah Taliulu, and Joe Palazzo scored their first BYU tries.
Despite the relative youth of the squad, the majority of the scoring came from BYU veterans with Coleman Meier (wing), Seen Tarawhiti (flanker), Mike Payne (prop), and Porter Thomas (reserve wing) scoring twice each. BYU kickers were on point on Saturday as well as they went a combined 14 for 17 on conversion kicks (Connor Parry 10 for 13, Ezias Bigelow 4 for 4).
Regarding the team performance, Team Captain and flyhalf Zach Webber had this to say, “It was a solid start for the season, but there are still a lot of areas where we need to see improvement. We are happy that we won, but we aren’t satisfied yet. We are just getting started and the goal is to polish off the rough edges in the upcoming matches.”
In addition to being the first game of the 2018-19 season, it was an exciting day and the start of a new era as the new coaching staff, led by Head Coach Steve St. Pierre, began their tenure at the helm of the BYU Rugby program. The coaching staff has worked hard over the last month to pick the team from a field of over 100 BYU students who attended the open tryout and get those selected players ready for the Fall season. Coach St. Pierre was pleased with the first game and thought the players showed well in the first match. “The effort was great, and it was exciting to get so many new guys their first opportunity to wear the BYU jersey. We still have a lot to work on, but I am optimistic about where we are right now as a team.”
BYU’s next game is versus Utah State University on Saturday, October 13th. Kick-off will be at 1:00pm in Logan, UT. Follow BYU Rugby’s Twitter account (@byurugby) for live game updates.
Scoring Summary –
Tries: Anderson (16’), Austin (54’), Meier (5’, 22’), Mocke (36’), Palazzo (59’), Payne (33’, 47’), Sorensen, K (44’), Taliulu (41’), Tarawhiti (9’, 64’), Thomas (74’, 80’), Webber, B (18’) Webber, Z (27’), Wilcox (29’)
Conversions: Parry, C (9’, 18’, 27’, 29’, 33’, 36’, 41’, 44’, 47’, 54’), Bigelow (59’, 64’, 74’, 80’)
Halftime Score: BYU 57, Wyoming 0
Final Score: BYU 113, Wyoming 0
BYU team vs Wyoming:
1. Devon Anderson (Jacob Tai at 47’), 2. David Nonu, 3. Mike Payne (Josh Stott at 47’), 4. James Mocke (Tyler Sorenson at 44’), 5. Ben Austin, 6. Seen Tarawhiti, 7. Tosh Wilcox-VC (Josh Harden at 47’), 8. Kevin Sorensen (Joe Palazzo at 54’), 9. Kingston Matua (Dylan Parry at 54’), 10. Zach Webber-C (Ezias Bigelow at 54’), 11. Coleman Meier (Porter Thomas at 54’), 12. Cole Semu, 13. Isaiah Taliulu, 14. Ben Webber, 15. Connor Parry