Verla Challenge Cup Binds the Cross-Town Rivals

Nov 8, 2019


The BYU Cougars faced neighboring UVU Wolverines in an exciting match up on Helaman Field. This BYU vs UVU contest, formerly known as the “Cross-town Rivalry” took on a more honorable title as the Cougars and Wolverines decided to re-name their annual match-up as the “Verla Smyth Challenge Cup”. This is in the highest honor and regard for Mrs. Verla Smyth who passed away on November 1, 2019, and is the wife of 30-year BYU men’s head coach David Smyth. After an extensive and successful coaching career at BYU, Coach David Smyth then moved his coaching talents to UVU for one year before heading to SVU to lead the rugby program there. Verla remained loyal and ever-so supportive of rugby. Her lasting impact and impression on the rugby programs and community at BYU will be indefinite. Each year that the BYU Cougars and UVU Wolverines match-up, they will compete to house the “Verla Smyth Challenge Cup” for that year.


The Cougars took an early lead in the first 2 minutes of play with a try from a resilient maul. After back and forth possession between BYU and UVU, Cougar scrum half Dylan Parry scored a try in the 11th minute of play. After some resistance from UVU defense, wing Sam Roberts broke away down the sideline to score a try in the 20th minute of play.

UVU found kicking space behind BYU’s defense, resulting in a try.

Both the backs and forwards were forces to be reckoned with as they drove consistent tries for the remainder of the half. The score at halftime resulted in 38 – 5 favoring the Cougars.

For the remainder of the match BYU kept driving the ball down the field, maintaining dominance and possession.

The Cougars claimed the victory and will be taking home the “Verla Smyth Challenge Cup” as they defeat the Wolverines with a final score of 85 – 5

Cougars Remain Undefeated After Win Against Wyoming

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PROVO, UT - On Saturday, Oct. 26th, BYU played a mixed A and B roster against the University of Wyoming. Nine players made the starting 15 for the first time. BYU was expected to play well defensively because they have only allowed four opponent tries in the last five matches.

At kick-off, number 14, Matthew Myers, broke through the Wyoming defensive line and passed the ball out to number 11, Michael Buriek, who scored in the 2nd minute of the game. Connor Parry made the conversion to follow. The Cowboys struggled early defensively and received a yellow card in the 8th minute for a dangerous tackle. 

BYU continued to keep Wyoming on their toes, as number 13, Noah Uluave, scored off a crisp pass from inside center, Seen Tarawhiti. The Cougars went up 14-0 within the first 10 minutes of the game. Both teams were scoreless for the next 17 minutes. Number 6, Lono Kanongata’a broke the scoring drought in style, when he flipped over the ball scoring the try after finding a gap in Wyoming’s defensive line. 

Kanongata’a continued to attack offensively when he returned the ball off the kick-off and broke through a few tackles. He charged all the way to the Wyoming 22-meter line. He quickly popped the ball off to scrum-half, Alma Schoenfeld, who ran the ball in under the posts. Parry’s conversion was good, which put the Cougars up 28-0.BYU’s defense was just as dominating as its offense. Number 5, Chris Payne, forced a Wyoming knock-on close to the 5-meter line which allowed Buriek to score for the second time in the match. 

BYU’s forwards dominated and consistently advanced the ball up the field. The player’s offensive power sucked in the Wyoming defense, which allowed the backs to take advantage of the space outside. Tarawhiti, scored in the 38th minute after a pass from Uluave.

BYU Takes Down Aggies

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PROVO, UT - On Friday, Oct. 18th, BYU took on the Utah State Aggies under the lights of Helaman field. In a landslide victory, the Cougars demonstrated a highly physical and explosive level of play that was unmatched by the Aggies. 

In the first minute, Braden Pape picked up the ball from the scrum and set up number 9, Dylan Parry, for a try. Later, forward, Ethan Johnson, took the ball in to score off a maul at the three-meter line. The Cougars were up 12-0, just minutes into the first half. Wing number 14, Sam Roberts, scored soon after Johnson. Dylan Parry attacked the open space and managed to score three tries within the first 15 minutes of the match. 

BYU continued to find gaps in the USU defensive line. Number 2, Ethan Johnson,  scored a total of four tries in the first 35 minutes and Bigelow made 11 conversions in the first half. BYU showcased a team effort and Tarawhiti took the ball in for the final try of the half which put the Cougars up 87-0. 

Half time score 87-0

BYU started the second half with just as much energy as the first. Center, Jacob McKay, scored within the first minute of the half. Minutes later, number 5, Alex King, found the try zone after a great run by number 19 Jacob Littlefield. 

The BYU backs were dynamic and continued to gain meters on every run. Braden Pape turned on the wheels and split past the USU line scoring towards the end of the half.  Overall, Connor Parry made a total of 10 conversions in the second half. At the end of the match, 12 BYU players were able to score 25 tries. The Cougars played a perfect defensive game shutting out the Aggies, 167-0. 


The Cougars are undefeated and are preparing to take on Wyoming at home on Saturday, October 26th. 

Cougars Conquer Airforce

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COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - On Saturday, Oct. 12th, BYU traveled to Colorado Springs to play Air Force Academy. Last Fall when BYU hosted Air Force in the semi-finals of the Rocky Mountain Conference they won 110-0. This year they once again came away with the victory.

To start the game, the Cougars kicked off to AF. BYU’s immediate defensive pressure forced AF to clear the ball. Tosh Wilcox broke the AF defensive line early which set up number 11, Sam Roberts, to score in the 3rd minute.  Braden Pape demonstrated pure tenacity when he stripped an AF forward and took the ball all the way to the one-meter line which allowed scrum-half, Dylan Parry, to score. Bigelow’s conversion was good which put the Cougars up 12-0.

The BYU backs continued to move the ball easily across the field and the AF defensive line could not keep up. The BYU backline was relentless and center, Jacob Mckay, scored in the 19th. 

The BYU forwards got in on the action with some defensive pressure led by Tosh Wilcox who stole the AF lineout. After BYU gained possession, Meier made a great run and offloaded to Connor Parry for his second try of the match. 

Shortly after, BYU had a lineout close to the 5 meter-line which set up number 4, Josh Harden, for the try. BYU found gaps in the Airforce defensive line and BYU forward Braden Pape scored in the 34th minute. Bigelow made the conversion putting the Cougars up 41-0. AF took advantage of a BYU penalty in the 41st and their fly-half number 10 beat several BYU defenders to score. 

Half time score 41-7

Game SATURDAY against Wyoming

PROVO, Utah – Coming back from a major victory over Utah State, the Cougars prepare to face Wyoming this Saturday at Helaman Fields. The Cougars are currently undefeated and look forward to a great match this weekend. 


Fans are encouraged to wear pink to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 




Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019  

Wyoming vs. BYU @ Provo, Utah 

1 pm MDT 


Parking Available at Lavell Edwards Stadium South Parking Lot 



BYU Students and Faculty (ID Required): $3 

General Admission: $5 

10 Person Group Pass: $35 

Tickets can be purchased at the game or at 

BYU Takes Home Victory At Colorado State

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Click here to view the match (second half) 


COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - On Friday, Oct. 4th, BYU traveled to Colorado Springs to play the Colorado State University Rams. Last Fall, BYU beat the Rams in the Rocky Mountain Rugby Conference Finals, which gave them an automatic bid to the D1A Spring rugby playoffs. This year, the Cougars came out on top again with a dominating 42-10 win. 

At the start of the game, BYU was called for a penalty. The penalty allowed CSU to advance up the field close to the BYU 10 meter line for a lineout. Despite CSU’s advantageous field position, BYU established its defensive dominance. BYU fly-half, Ezias Bigelow picked up a dropped CSU pass, in the 5th minute which helped BYU gain offensive momentum. BYU transitioned quickly to offensive and prop, David Nonu, took the ball in hard to the two-meter line. His run set up number 7 flanker and captain, Tosh Wilcox, for the first try of the match in the 10th minute. Ezias Bigelow made the conversion which put BYU up 7-0. 

BYU Defeats CU 42-5 In Season Opener

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Provo, UT - BYU hosted Colorado University on Saturday in their Fall season opener. The Cougars, reigning 2018 Fall champions, won the conference battle 42-5.

The Cougars started the match with a kick-off to CU and quickly pushed them back into their own red zone. BYU’s immediate pressure forced CU to kick the ball back to BYU. BYU’s dominant defense was manifested again when number seven captain, Tosh Wilcox, blocked a CU kick in the third minute that gave the cougars back the ball. After six minutes CU finally was able to break into the BYU defensive half. Following several BYU penalties the Buffalos advanced and reached the BYU 22. 

Possession shifted back and forth between the teams and in the 9th minute CU had a drop-22 after BYU fly-half, Ezias Bigelow, attempted to punt the ball down the field.  BYU forwards started to take control offensively and dominated the rucks. In the 23rd minute both teams were still scoreless. BYU maintained the ball on CU half and applied lots of offensive pressure. BYU showed their offensive flare with a skip pass from inside center, Lono Kanongata’a, that allowed Connor Parry to gain some ground on the outside. BYU forward, David Nonu, ended the scoring drought in the 25th minute as he split past two CU defenders on a 10-meter run. Ezias Bigelow scored on the conversion making the score 7-0. 

Season Opener Saturday Against Colorado

PROVO, Utah – BYU Men’s Rugby opens their season this Saturday with a home match-up against Colorado. Fans can support the team at Helaman Fields at BYU Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019 at 1 pm MDT. This game kicks off the 2019-2020 season for BYU.




Colorado vs. BYU @ Provo, Utah

Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019

1 pm MDT

Parking Available at Lavell Edwards Stadium South Parking Lot



BYU Students and Faculty (ID Required): $3

General Admission: $5

10 Person Group Pass: $35

Tickets can be purchased at the game or at

BYU defeats CSU, Wins Rocky Mtn. Conference Championship

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Provo, UT – The BYU Men's Rugby team hosted the Colorado State Rams in the final of the Rocky Mountain Rugby Conference on November 17th at South Field and came away with a 96-6 victory. With the victory, BYU receives an automatic bid in the D1A Rugby play-offs in the spring.

On the day, BYU ran in a total of 14 tries with ten Cougars crossing the try line. The scoring began two minutes into the contest with lock James Mocke scoring on a tight run off the ruck. Mocke added another try seven minutes later on an inside pass from scrumhalf Kingston Matua. The CSU defense was eager to stop the BYU forwards and over pursued leaving the channel next to the ruck open. Mocke ran a hard line, received the pass and, after a strong 20-meter run, carried two Ram defenders into the try zone.

The tough sideline conversion was pushed just to the left by center Calvin Whiting, but that would be the only blemish on Whiting’s kicking record as he and reserve back Ezias Bigelow combined to convert 13 of 14 BYU tries. Whiting also added his third try of the fall season and led all Cougar scorers with 29 points on the day.

On the ensuing kick-off, the Rams pinned the Cougars deep in the BYU end of the field. CSU threatened to score for the next five minutes and their constant pressure was rewarded as BYU was called for not rolling away in the tackle. CSU opted to go for the penalty kick. The kick was good which put the score at 19-3.