SAINT GEORGE, UT- On a sunny Saturday afternoon, BYU Men’s Rugby opened the 2018 season at Snow Canyon High School with a 53-22 win against Phoenix based Grand Canyon University. GCU came into the match as a ranked team after coming off a road win over San Diego State.
BYU jumped out ahead 19-0 early after tries from Tua Laei and Tosh Wilcox. The Antelopes got on the board not too long later with a try to cut the Cougar lead down to 14. After a successful BYU kick for points and traded tries from BYU’s Zach Webber and Grand Canyon, BYU headed into halftime with a 29-12 lead.
The second half began with both squads exchanging scores, which included a try from BYU’s Sam Merrill. BYU then put up three unanswered tries, two from Nalu Shortland and another by Tosh Wilcox to seal up the Cougar victory.
“Overall it was a satisfactory effort for a first run. We got some good work done today.” added BYU Head Coach David Smyth. “Additionally, this team learned what areas of needed improvement are there. That’s a good thing, and we’ll stay busy at practice. With only four starters from last year’s team taking the field today, there were questions to be answered. I was pleased with response we got from the boys. On we go!”
Six different Cougars scored on tries today. Nalu Shortland and Connor Perry shared the kicking duties for BYU throughout the game.
BYU will have the next week off before heading on the road to Colorado the next week. They will face the Colorado Buffaloes on Thursday, Feb. 8 in Boulder then the Colorado State Rams in Fort Collins on Saturday, Feb. 10.