University of Utah

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 Rugby starts Varsity Cup title defense following Utah Scrimmage

BYU rugby started off its 2016 season with a scrimmage against Utah on Saturday, January 16, at Snow Canyon High School in St. George, UT.

“Hats off to our team today in our scrimmage against Utah,” said BYU rugby head coach David Smyth of BYU’s 82-17 win over the Utes. “All of our players fought hard. It was great to try out different combinations as we start the 2016 season.”

The Cougars look to defend their Varsity Cup title following an undefeated 2015 season that ended in the Cougars gaining their fourth consecutive national championship and fifth overall.

BYU’s forward pack led the way with tough play thanks to several returning players including sophomore hook Alex Vorster and junior prop Zane Mendenhall.

“We have a very experienced forward pack so we can expect to see smarter rugby,” said BYU rugby assistant coach Wayne Tarawhiti who coaches the forwards. “We have to get more physical, but I also want to see a bit more finesse and flow.”

As the forwards continue to improve, the back line led by senior scrumhalf and team captain Luke Mocke look to capitalize on opportunities as the Cougars progress towards regular season play.

“I’m excited for this season because of the amount of potential we have based on the production we saw from different teammates,” said Mocke of BYU’s multiple offensive threats. “I know we’ll continue to have success thanks to our great coaching.”

BYU will go on the road again next week to play in the Red Rock Invitational Tournament in Mesquite, NV from January 22-23, 2016.

BYU Rugby looks to defend Varsity Cup title following Utah scrimmage

BYU rugby started off its 2016 season with a scrimmage against Utah on Saturday, January 16, at Snow Canyon High School in St. George, UT.

“Hats off to our team today in our scrimmage against Utah,” said BYU rugby head coach David Smyth of BYU’s 82-17 win over the Utes. “All of our players fought hard. It was great to try out different set pieces as we start the 2016 season.”

The Cougars look to defend their Varsity Cup title following an undefeated 2015 season that ended in the Cougars gaining their fourth consecutive national championship and fifth overall.

BYU’s forward pack led the way with tough play thanks to several returning players including sophomore hook Alex Vorster and junior prop Zane Mendenhall.

“We have a very experienced forward pack so we can expect to see smarter rugby,” said BYU rugby assistant coach Wayne Tarawhiti who coaches the forwards. “We have to get more physical, but I also want to see a bit more finesse and flow.”

As the forwards continue to improve, the back line led by senior scrumhalf and team captain Luke Mocke look to capitalize on opportunities as the Cougars progress towards regular season play.

“I’m excited for this season because of the amount of potential we have based on the production we saw from different teammates,” said Mocke of BYU’s multiple offensive threats. “I know we’ll continue to have success thanks to our great coaching.”

BYU will go on the road again next week to play in the Red Rock Invitational Tournament in Mesquite, NV from January 22-23, 2016.

 

 

BYU plays CWU in the Varsity Cup Semifinals

Provo, UT—The BYU rugby season is quickly coming to an end and the Cougars (12-0) remain undefeated as they head to the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup Semifinals this weekend. The two-day 50th Anniversary Celebration begins on Friday and culminates with the game against Central Washington University on Saturday, April 18 at 1 p.m. MST on BYU’s South Field.

“This has been one of the most exciting seasons we’ve had,” said David Smyth, BYU rugby head coach. “It’s fitting that this year is the 50th anniversary. Everyone involved this semester has given a performance worthy of the team’s great legacy.”

Last week the team played in the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup quarterfinals and defeated University of California, Los Angeles 45–16. Although the UCLA Bruins fought hard, the Cougars’ offense and defense came together in a spectacular showcase of strength and determination.

The win last weekend means the Cougars advance to the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup Semifinals and will play against the CWU Wildcats. CWU is most recently coming from a victory against the University of Utah (18–7) and has won a total of eight out of ten games this season.

On the other half of the bracket of the quarterfinals are the California Golden Bears and the Navy Midshipmen. California put on an offensive exhibition last week beating the Texas Longhorns 100-7. Navy, on the other hand, is going into the quarterfinals following a nail biter against Clemson winning 24-23.

Wayne Tarawhiti, assistant coach for BYU rugby, feels the game against CWU will be a good test for BYU in preparation for the winner of California vs. Navy.

BYU Defeats Utah By 45 Points At Utah

Salt Lake City, UT- The Wasatch Cup will remain in possession of the Cougars after BYU beat Utah convincingly at the Ute Soccer Field 76-31. The expectations of both teams were high as BYU and Utah each defeated northern California rugby power St. Mary’s last week.

“The score doesn’t tell the whole story of the game. We knew the Utes would be ready to play as they have in the past,” said BYU rugby head coach David Smyth. “Our backs did a great job finding the holes leading to several tries.”

BYU senior prop Kody Thompson scores his one of his two tries against Utah. BYU defeated Utah 76-31 for the Wasatch Cup. Photo by Andrea Wride
BYU senior prop Kody Thompson scores his one of his two tries against Utah. BYU defeated Utah 76-31 for the Wasatch Cup. Photo by Andrea Wride

Utah jumped on the scoreboard early sending a penalty kick through the uprights in the 9th minute of the game after an early BYU penalty giving the Utes a 3-0 lead. The game momentum seemed to be wholly in Utah’s favor until the 10th minute when BYU junior wing Ryan Blaser ran in a quick try. BYU’s fly half Jonathan Linehan’s conversion was good following Blaser’s try putting the Cougars up 7-3 shifting the momentum to the Cougars.

BYU sophomore flanker Ara Elkington scored the first of his two tries in the 13th minute. Elkington wasn’t the only Cougar to score two tries. BYU senior prop Kody Thompson also scored two tries. BYU senior wing Jordan Lowry had the most tries with three.

BYU Plays Utah For Wasatch Cup This Saturday

Salt Lake City, UT—BYU (8–0) is coming to the Wasatch Cup ready to play the University of Utah (8–3) for the second time this season. The game is Saturday, March 21 at 1 p.m. MST on the Ute Soccer Field.

Most recently BYU defeated Saint Mary’s College 35–26. The game was a close one; the Cougars were behind most of the first half until a try by senior center Seki Kofe followed by a conversion by junior fly half Jonny Linehan in the 28th minute. Linehan had an especially impressive match, despite being injured, and scored 20 out of the 35 total points.

“Every season is good, but this one has been especially impressive,” said BYU assistant coach Wayne Tarawhiti. “Our boys have really come together and know what they are doing. They play as a team.”

The Cougars have already played the Utes once this season in the Southern Utah Showcase and beat the team 50–22. While Utah traditionally has an aggressive offense, BYU has a strong defense and a depth at different positions.