Utah

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.

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.

 

 

Rio Tinto Stadium to Host 2015 Penn Mutual Varsity Cup National Rugby Collegiate Championship on May 2

Salt Lake City, UT - The 2015 Penn Mutual Varsity Cup National Rugby Collegiate Championship will take place at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, May 2. The Championship is slated for 2:00 p.m. MT and features the winners of the Varsity Cup Semifinals taking place this Saturday. The championship match will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network.

Media looking to cover the event can apply for a media credential using the following link. The application deadline is Tuesday, April 28.

Utah’s own Brigham Young University advanced to the 2015 Penn Mutual Varsity Cup semifinal last weekend, defeating UCLA 45-16, continuing their perfect 12-0 season. The Cougars remain the only college from Utah in the tournament after University of Utah was eliminated for the second consecutive year by Central Washington in a narrow 18-7 loss on April 11.  BYU is next scheduled take on CWU this Saturday, April 18 at 1:00 p.m. MT at South Field in Provo. The match marks the 50th Anniversary of BYU Rugby and will include a flag raising ceremony recognizing the 2014 Championship team.

In the other semi-final pairing, Navy challenges California on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. MT at Witter Rugby Field at University of California Berkeley. Navy got by Clemson 24-23 last weekend while Cal handled Texas 100-7.

The winners from each of Saturday’s semifinal rounds will face off in the 2015 Penn Mutual Varsity Cup Championship at Rio Tinto Stadium on May 2 at 2:00 p.m. MT. An updated Varsity Cup bracket can be found here.

RIO TINTO STADIUM TO HOST 2015 PENN MUTUAL VARSITY CUP NATIONAL RUGBY COLLEGIATE CHAMPIONSHIP ON MAY 2

Salt Lake City, UT - The 2015 Penn Mutual Varsity Cup National Rugby Collegiate Championship will take place at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, May 2. The Championship is slated for 2:00 p.m. MT and features the winners of the Varsity Cup Semifinals taking place this Saturday. The championship match will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network.

Media looking to cover the event can apply for a media credential using the following link. The application deadline is Tuesday, April 28.

Utah’s own Brigham Young University advanced to the 2015 Penn Mutual Varsity Cup semifinal last weekend, defeating UCLA 45-16, continuing their perfect 12-0 season. The Cougars remain the only college from Utah in the tournament after University of Utah was eliminated for the second consecutive year by Central Washington in a narrow 18-7 loss on April 11.  BYU is next scheduled take on CWU this Saturday, April 18 at 1:00 p.m. MT at South Field in Provo. The match marks the 50th Anniversary of BYU Rugby and will include a flag raising ceremony recognizing the 2014 Championship team.

In the other semi-final pairing, Navy challenges California on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. MT at Witter Rugby Field at University of California Berkeley. Navy got by Clemson 24-23 last weekend while Cal handled Texas 100-7.

The winners from each of Saturday’s semifinal rounds will face off in the 2015 Penn Mutual Varsity Cup Championship at Rio Tinto Stadium on May 2 at 2:00 p.m. MT. An updated Varsity Cup bracket can be found here.

BYU Cougars to Battle the UCLA Bruins in LA

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Provo, UT – The undefeated BYU Cougars (11-0) will travel to LA to play a scrappy UCLA team on Saturday, April 11, at 1 p.m. PT. The UCLA Bruins outlasted the Air Force Forces 32-12 last weekend to move on to the quarterfinals of the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup. BYU looks to win its fourth straight and fifth overall national championship.

“We’re anxious to get back on the pitch and continuing working towards our goal of winning the 2015 Varsity Cup,” said BYU rugby head coach David Smyth of BYU’s bye of the first round of playoffs.

BYU’s pace has been relentless on both ends of the ball during the 2015 season. The Cougars have outscored opponents 769-142 after 11 games averaging about 70 points a game. Any one of the Cougars are capable of scoring due to solid communication and passing by junior scrum half Luke Mocke and junior fly half Jonathan Linehan.

Solid tackling by their forwards has led to a stingy defense as the Cougars recording three shutouts against UNLV, UVU and Utah State. Freshman hooker Alex Vorster has had a solid season thus far making his tackles and helping the Cougars win scrums.

“Every practice, every win has been focused on winning the Varsity Cup,” said BYU captain and All-American Kyle Sumsion. “Consistency has been key in our success.”

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.

Cougars Take on Utes in Southern Utah Showcase

BYU senior winger Jordan Lowry runs past the Utah defense enroute to a try in last year's Wasatch Cup.
BYU senior winger Jordan Lowry runs past the Utah defense enroute to a try in last year's Wasatch Cup.

Provo, UT—BYU is set to play against the University of Utah on Saturday, January 24th in St. George, Utah at Snow Canyon High School in a Southern Utah rugby showcase friendly. The last time the two teams faced each other was at the Wasatch Cup last April where BYU beat Utah 41-21. The victory marked the ninth out of 10 over Utah.

Although Saturday’s match-up between rivals is simply a friendly fixture and won’t carry any Wasatch Cup implications BYU’s head coach David Smyth says this weekend’s fixture will undoubtedly carry typical rivalry intensity.

“Both schools have a solid rugby program and a tradition of excellence,” said David Smyth, BYU rugby head coach and former player (1983-87). “There has been a healthy rivalry between the two schools for years now. Utah always comes ready to play.”

The April 2014 Wasatch Cup was especially heated. At one point BYU was down a player, and Utah demonstrated its creativity in some unexpected plays. Utah is currently coming from four wins in the PAC-12 North Tournament in Oregon and a 15-81 loss to St. Mary’s College of California. BYU’s first game of the season ended in a 72-8 victory over Arizona State University.

The Utah roster is diverse and includes players coming from Nigeria, Hawaii, Las Vegas, California, and Utah. The team has ranked in the final four in the national championship four times.

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