byu rugby

BYU Releases 2018 Schedule

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BYU opens the 2018 season with a road match vs Phoenix based Grand Canyon University in St. George on January 27.

From there the team will travel to Colorado, taking on CU Boulder on February 8 for a midweek match and Colorado State on February 10. Then its onto Saint Mary’s for the 1st stage of the annual Gaels/Cougar home and home series, slotted to play in Walnut Creek on February 17 then back in Provo in March.


BYU will be hosted by UVU on February 24 and will open their 2018 home games with Saint Mary’s on March 10 at BYU


BYU will also play host to Central Washington on March 17 and San Diego State on March 24.


With the Wasatch Cup back on the schedule BYU will play at Utah for a Friday night match on March 30. To finish off the regular season BYU will travel to Ellensburg, Washington to play Central Washington on April 7.


Follow along on Twitter @BYURugby for any updates

BYU (19-0) opens Varsity Cup playoffs against ASU in Arizona on Saturday, April 9

The no. 1 Brigham Young University rugby team (19-0) will travel to play the Arizona State Sun Devils for the first round of the Varsity Cup playoffs in Mesa Saturday, April 9, 7 p.m. BYU's regular season accomplishments are the result of well-coached players who have executed on the pitch.

"Many players stepped up to the challenge this season and we will need them to do it again against ASU," said BYU rugby head coach David Smyth of BYU's undefeated record. "We were able to develop more players this year and those who received those opportunities played well."

A few of the players mentioned by Smyth who played well this season include Matt Jensen, Jackson Kaka, Calvin Whiting, Kingston Matua and Kevin Schofield. Jensen, a junior lock who has found the tryline several times during the regular season, credits much of the team's success to consistent play and effective coaching.

"I've been a creature of opportunity," Jensen said of being able to make plays on the rugby pitch. "Most of my tries have been set up by the team. The whole team across the board has been solid. They're consistent. No one is selfish as we've been spreading the ball out."

BYU's expectations to play well and win the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup is due in part to BYU's five national championships with four of those championships being consecutive wins. While the Cougars have not lost a game since February 2014, they do not appear to be letting up. The team's ability to stay focused and play hard each game has been an accomplishment on its own.

"This year, as a team, we have worked on sticking to what we worked on in practice," said no. 8 Joe Pikula. "We've focused on executing what we worked on in practice. We've performed well against top competition like St. Mary's and Central Washington. I think we've been able to outperform our own expectations."

BYU defeats Utah 49-12 for Wasatch Cup on Friday, April 1

Provo, UT- The undefeated Brigham Young University rugby team (19-0) defended the Wasatch Cup once again with a 49-12 victory over University of Utah at South Field on Friday, April 1, 2016.

"Hats off to Utah in working to keep the same intensity the full game," said BYU rugby head coach David Smyth of BYU's last regular season home game. "We were able to execute in our set pieces and played hard to beat Utah. We got on the board first and that set the tone for the win."

Within the first three minutes of the game, BYU prop Ricky Tuihalangingie broke through Utah's line for the first try of the night. Sophomore Calvin Whiting's completed conversion gave the Cougars a fast 7-0 lead over the Utes.

At the 16th minute, Whiting scored his first try of the night and added another conversion giving BYU a 14-0 lead. Five minutes later, the Cougars took advantage of stolen lineout leading to a try from sophomore winger Kevin Schofield. Whiting nailed his third conversion of the night putting the Cougars up 21-0.

Utah had its first chance to put points on the board with a penalty kick not long after Schofield's try but missed.

At the 32nd minute mark, BYU took advantage of Utah's thinning backline resulting in a try from fullback Ryan Blaser. Whiting added another two points putting the Cougars up 28-0.

Determined not to be held scoreless going into half-time, Utah's hooker scored at try at the 39-minute mark. Utah-transfer Josh Webber missed the conversion ending the first half with the Cougars up 28-5.

"We knew we had to keep attacking," said team captain and junior flyhalf Jared Whippy of BYU's 23-point lead going into half-time. "We did what the coaches taught us and remembered what we worked on in practice. Doing so led to other opportunities to score."

Wasatch Cup: Rival University of Utah to play BYU at South Field on Friday, April 1

Provo, UT- Friday's game is no joke. The Brigham Young University rugby team will host in-state rival University of Utah in a battle for the Wasatch Cup at BYU's South Field on April 1, 2016.

"Utah always plays hard," said BYU rugby head coach David Smyth of the Utes. "We'll need to stay focused and stick to our game plan as we have all season. Ball control will be key against the Utes. We'll need to starve them of the ball and keep attacking all 80-minutes."

BYU's most recent victory was a 71-0 win over the San Diego State Aztecs at South Field on March 29, 2016. Multiple Cougars found the tryline as BYU continued its win streak including senior wing Joshua Anderson who added four tries. BYU worked hard offensively and was able to take advantage of San Diego State's defensive lapses. The Cougars plan to continue their momentum against University of Utah.

"We're always excited to play our rival," said team captain and senior scrumhalf Luke Mocke of the Wasatch Cup. "Utah always brings it each time we play them. We're ready for the challenge."

In last year's Wasatch Cup, BYU defeated the Utes at University of Utah's home pitch 76-31. Several Cougars scored tries in the 2015 Wasatch Cup in a display of BYU's versatility.

Kick off is set for 7:00 p.m. MDT at South Field on Friday, April 1, 2016. Tickets are available online at this link. The game will be live-streamed from BYU's YouTube channel.

BYU improves to 18-0 for the 2016 with 71-0 win over SDSU at South Field on March 29, 2016

Provo, UT- The no. 1 Brigham Young University rugby team (18-0) shut out the San Diego State Aztecs at BYU’s South Field despite colder weather conditions on Tuesday, March 29, 2016.

“It was great to be back at home and finish with a win over San Diego State,” said BYU rugby head coach David Smyth of BYU’s return to South Field following two away games. “We were able to see what our boys could do in different situations and how they reacted as a team.  Hats off to San Diego State for making the trip.”

One of the position switches by BYU that happened in the game was switching sophomore Calvin Whiting to fly half and Ricky Tuihalagingie to center. Whiting has played at center much of the season and Tuihalagingie has started at prop.

The evening's rotation paid off as BYU found the scoreboard quickly thanks to tries from winger Joshua Anderson who capitalized on assists from fullback Joshua Whippy. Anderson put ten points on the board before ten minutes had passed in the match.

Then, at the 11th minute, Anderson completed a hat trick thanks to an assist from Tua Laei. Whiting’s conversion was good giving the Cougars a 17-0 lead over the Aztecs. BYU’s Luke Mocke found the tryline after running the ball in after receiving it from Kevin Schofield. Whiting’s conversion was good increasing BYU’s lead to 24-0.

Fourteen minutes later, BYU flanker Ara Elkington added five points to BYU’s tally for the night giving the Cougars a 29-0 lead. Subbing in for Jackson Kaka, Nic Purcell bulldozed his way in for BYU’s sixth try of the night at the end of the first half. Whiting sent the ball through the uprights for another two points putting the Cougars up by 36 points at half-time.

Undefeated BYU Cougars host the Army Knights of West Point on Thursday, March 17

Provo, UT- Brigham Young Unversity rugby's 1st XV host the Army Knights of West Point on Thursday, March 17, 2016, with kick off set for 7:00 p.m. MST. The no. 1 Cougars recently defeated St. Mary's 62-15 at BYU's South Field while the Knights are coming off a 56-5 win over Dartmouth on March 5, 2016.

"Army will be hungry for their next win after beating Dartmouth," said BYU rugby head coach David Smyth of visiting Knights. "They're a fit, physical team and will hustle tall 80 minutes. I like what I've been seeing from our boys so far this season. We'll need to play our game and stay focused both halves."

The Army Knights are currently 6-3 with their three losses handed to them by Iona, Kutztown and Air Force. All three losses were by an average margin of 12 points. On the other hand, the BYU Cougars are undefeated so far during the 2016 season winning by an average margin of 50 points since their home opener against Air Force late February in 1st XV play. 

"We've been able to play well this season thanks to coaches Smyth and Tarawhiti," said BYU rugby team captain and scrumhalf Luke Mocke. "Our conditioning and drills have made the difference in each of our matches. It's shown by our scoring ability and defense."

In each of BYU's wins this season, different Cougars have found the tryline such as no. 8 Joe Pikula and lock Matt Jensen. One such Cougar is sophomore winger Kevin Schofield has completed a hat trick in each of the last three matches.

"Schofield brings a great deal of hustle every game as shown by his ability to put points on the board," Smyth said of winger's several tries this season. "His play along with the leadership of our experienced players have helped us get to where are at this point in the season."

BYU sweeps the 2016 series against St. Mary's with a 62-15 win at home in Provo on March 12

Provo, UT- In front of a packed stadium at South Field, the no. 1 Brigham Young University rugby team defeated the no. 3 St. Mary's Gaels 62-15 on Saturday, March 12. In the first half, BYU sophomore winger Kevin Schofield completed his third game in row with a hat trick giving the Cougars the momentum they needed to continue their win streak.

"St. Mary's played a tough game today, but our boys played hard and kept their foot on the gas all 80 minutes," said BYU rugby head coach David Smyth of BYU's win at home. "Kevin stepped up today on his birthday. We also saw consistent play in our set pieces and good ball control."

Despite kicking off to start the first half, the Cougars managed to get the ball back and found themselves in scoring position early on. A handful of penalties prevented the Cougars from finding the try line. BYU finally scored a try in the 7th minute when a Jared Whippy kick connected with Schofield who eluded several Gaels en route to his first try of the day. BYU's Calvin Whiting's conversion was good giving the Cougars a 7-0 lead.

The Gaels answered back in the 21st minute taking advantage of the BYU penalty by sending the ball through the uprights for three points closing the gap to 7-3 with BYU still in the lead. Not only did the Gaels score three points, but Whippy was also sent to the sin bin requiring the Cougars to play down a man for the next ten minutes.

Not allowing the their shortage of players on the field to hold them back from scoring, BYU once again got on the scoreboard due to a try from eight-man Joe Pikula who bulldozed his way through three St. Mary's players. Whiting followed up Pikula's try with a completed conversion increasing BYU's lead to 14-3.

BYU kicks off home schedule against Air Force on Feb. 27, 2016 at South Field in Provo

Brigham Young University's South Field will be graced by the presence of loyal rugby fans for the first time since April 18, 2015 as the Cougars kick off their home schedule with a match against the relentless Air Force Zoomies this Saturday, Feb. 27, at 1 p.m.

"I'm excited to start our regular season schedule against Air Force," said BYU rugby head coach David Smyth of Air Force. "They're fit, disciplined and never give up. Our fans will have a blast."

Hungry for the chance to rebound from their last match, the Zoomies lost to University of California-Berkeley 65-12 on Saturday, Feb. 20. Since 1968, the Air Force Academy rugby team is known for its rich rugby tradition with three national championships in 1989, 1990, and 2003. 

"Air Force will be focused and ready to play," said BYU rugby team captain and scrumhalf Luke Mocke. "We'll need to stick to our game plan and play as one. Last week was a close match so we know we've been working hard in practice to take our playing to another level."

The Cougars are coming off a close 30-29 win on the road against St. Mary's in Moraga, Calif. last Saturday. Fans watched as four different Cougars scored tries against a tough St. Mary's team in an intense 80-minute battle. Last week's match saw fantastic play in the lineouts against St. Mary's by BYU's junior lock Matt Jensen who also scored a try in the contest. Fans will be able to see gritty, consistent play by the Cougar forward pack against Air Force.

"This year's forward pack is experienced and ready to go to work," said BYU rugby assistant coach Wayne Tarawhiti who coaches the team's forwards. "We have been doing well in the scrums. Our forwards tackling well and have been working hard in the rucks."

BYU Rugby 2nd XV return to Provo following win over Dixie State University

St. George, UT- With St. George's iconic red rock as the backdrop, the BYU rugby 2nd XV defeated Dixie State University rugby at Snow Canyon High School with a final score of 53-12.

"The team played well together today, which resulted in a hard fought and deserving win," said BYU rugby head coach David Smyth. "I was pleased to see the efforts of everyone who saw time on the field against Dixie State."

Both sides came out strong with only 10 points seperating the two teams 25 minutes into the first half. After an elusive run beating a few defenders, walk-on junior Sam Merrill ran 60 meters to score and put the Cougars up 15-0.

The Cougars scored another converted try thanks to Freshman Zach Webber, and went into the half time break leading 22-0.

Despite a late offensive rally by Dixie State, the BYU Cougars were in control for most of the game, and fans watched BYU junior winger Ryan Lever score two of BYU's nine tries. Eight different Cougars put points on the board. BYU freshman Paul Campbell scored one try and kicked another 10 points through the uprights. 

BYU's forward pack managed to outsmart and outwork their bigger Dixie State counterparts by creating scoring opportunities and spreading the ball wide. Forwards coach Ishmael Tilialo said "Our more experienced players like Ben Keith and Wineera Elkington stepped up and lead from the front, which gave our younger players the confidence to attack."

The Cougars credit their conditioning and simple game plan to helping them win by 41 points.

"We remembered to play simple and support our runners throughout the 80 minutes on the field," said BYU junior fly half Joseph Nicholls who captained the Cougars today. "Our conditioning and coaching continues to pay off every game."

BYU rugby's next match is in Moraga, Calif. where the first XV will play St. Mary's on Saturday, February 20.

Game notes:

BYU Rugby Reserves Starting XV:

BYU's Calvin Whiting makes the transition from HSAA to BYU rugby

BYU rugby's sophomore center, Calvin Whiting, greets everyone he meets with a smile, but has the ability to turn on his aggression when it's game time.

"I've always been able to turn my mind on [to game mode] when I need to," Whiting said of his ability to channel his mental focus into whatever he pursues. "I tell myself that this is business."

Whiting, 20, spent the first fifteen years of his life in South Africa in what he describes as a competitive home. He learned early on how to commit and work towards a goal thanks to his competitive relationship with his older brother and older sister. Whiting's mother and father divorced near the beginning of his time in high school leading his mother to move to Utah in pursuit of a fresh start. Not wanting his mother to go through the transition on her own, Whiting chose to follow her to Utah where his rugby career started to mature.

Despite donning a helmet and pads for one season on Lone Peak High School's football team, Whiting's love for rugby turned to a focused passion which resulted in him putting in the work as a rugger. Whiting's hard work earned him a spot on the United States high school All-American team helping him take his abilities to the next level.

"The expectations for being a high school All-American is high class," Whiting said of his experience representing the U.S. as a high schooler. "You're always fighting for your position. You are always expected to work hard and have great fundamentals. It's important to put in the work even when you're not with the team."

Playing with his fellow high school All-Americans helped him develop his skills and increased his knowledge of the game Whiting added. The competitive environment prepared him to be a contributing member of the five-time national championship BYU rugby team.