Golden Bears

No. 1 BYU rugby seeks to complete 2016 season with Penn Mutual Varsity Cup Final win over California on May 7, 2016

Provo, UT- With four national championships in a row and five overall, the No. 1 Brigham Young University rugby team (22-0) seek to complete another perfect season with a Penn Mutual Varsity Cup final victory over the California Golden Bears on Saturday, May 7, at BYU's South Field.

"Our team has continued to play well and stay focused this season," said BYU rugby head coach David Smyth of his team's win streak since February 2014. "We've been able to see many players step up and perform on game day. Our forward pack has been reliable and our backs have come through each game. We'll need to keep it up this Saturday against Cal. They are always ready to play."

California has proven to be a formidable rival for the BYU Cougars under the leadership of head coach Jack Clark who took over in 1984. The Golden Bears have a history of dominance in the world of collegiate rugby with 12 consecutive national title wins from 1991-2002 and grand total of 26 national championships overall. Like the Cougars, the Bears have produced many All-Americans as well as members of the USA Eagles such as Seamus Kelly. Last year's Varsity Cup Final was a thriller as the Cougars finished on top with a 30-27 win at Rio Tinto Stadium. 

"Cal has a history of playing great rugby," said BYU senior scrumhalf Luke Mocke. "We can't take a break. We have to stay focused all 80-minutes and stick to what the coaches have worked with us on. Their coaching has paid off as shown by our team's ability to score and starve our opponents of the ball."

The Cougars have proved to be an offensive juggernaut throughout the 2016 Varsity Cup playoffs so far outscoring opponents 256-43 with a scoring average of 85.3 points per game. BYU's depth has shown on the rugby pitch as multiple Cougars have added tries to the scoreboard with points their forward pack. 

BYU Rugby: Cougars weather the rain & a tough Navy team to advance to 9th straight National Championship

BYU All American center Paul Lasike barges past the Navy defense for his lone try of the game.
BYU All American center Paul Lasike barges past the Navy defense for his lone try of the game.

Provo, UT—The BYU Cougars weathered the rainy and windy conditions today on South Field to beat the formidable Naval Academy Midshipmen to advance to the Varsity Cup National Championship by the score of 60 to 0.

With the wet and soggy conditions BYU was able to hold a stout Navy team in check and garner the first shut out of the season while also notching a lopsided score against the No. 5 ranked Naval Academy.

“I thought we started the game well given the conditions,” said BYU head coach David Smyth, “And overall we put together a solid performance that we can certainly build on moving into the championship game next week.”

The scoring started in the 5th minute with center Jared Whippey dotting down after a well constructed kicking exchange by BYU that saw the Cougars with a lineout just outside of the Naval Academy goal line.

More sustained field position control by BYU saw winger Chris Wernli take a cut back pass to bully his way the final 5 meters for the games second try.

The Cougars continued to manage the wet conditions with a strong kicking game that kept Navy pinned in their half of the field.

BYU flyhalf Jonny Linehan was the next Cougar player to take advantage of the field position with a penalty kick in the 17th minute.