Wasatch Cup 2013 Preview: BYU vs. Utah

BYU, Utah, Wasatch Cup

Provo, UT–The 2013 edition of “College Rugby’s Rivalry,” the Wasatch Cup, which pits the BYU Cougars against their northern rival Utah, is set to kick off this Friday night at 7pm in BYU’s South Field Stadium.

The Wasatch Cup has been the predictor or National Championship opportunities with the winner of the Wasatch Cup playing for the collegiate title every year since 2005.

“This is the highlight of our regular season,” said BYU captain Ryan Roundy of the Wasatch Cup, “The energy in this game isn’t like anything else. The crowds are big and loud and the game is always a tough one.”

Roundy’s Cougars have owned the Wasatch Cup since 2006 with the lone Utah victory coming the previous year in 2005.

“I’ve never lost to them [Utah] in the Wasatch Cup while I’ve been here at BYU,” Roundy went on to say, “And definitely in my last year I want to keep that intact.”

Utah comes into the Wasatch Cup with a #8 national ranking a two losses on the season against UCLA and last week against the University of California.

Led by All Americans Don Pati, Mike Shepherd and Danny Jusczak Utah will look to upset BYU’s unbeaten record to collegiate teams on South Field.

BYU’s Season High Blasts Dixie, Sets Up Wasatch Cup Showdown

Provo, UT–The BYU Cougars put up a season-high 112 points against the Dixie State College Red Storm today on South Field with 19 tries scored by 13 different Cougars.

“We wanted to have a good run today,” said prop Ray Forrester of the Cougars’ large scoring margin, “We wanted to tighten up our set piece today and I think we did that. It wasn’t really about the score, we just wanted to play good and play hard.”

The Cougars’ were paced by freshman scrum half Luke Mocke who tallied his first career hat trick for the Cougars all in the first half.

“He’s just an energizer bunny,” said BYU captain Ryan Roundy speaking of Mocke, “He just keeps running and he justs wants to be a good little leader. He played a great game.”

On the back of Mocke’s trio of tries in the opening half BYU took a 53-0 lead into the break.

As the subs rolled in the scoring ramped up with 10 more tries by the Cougars, mixed with a lone drop goal by substitute halfback Inoke Funaki.

The final score rounded out to 112-0 as BYU now turns its attention to what is arguably the biggest collegiate rugby rivalry in the country: the Wasatch Cup, pitting BYU against their rivals from Utah.

“I think our guys did well today,” said BYU head coach David Smyth, “Our guys took a step forward and now we can finish the regular season hosting Utah here on South Field in the Wasatch Cup. It should be a good game.”

The Wasatch Cup kicks off on Friday night, April 5th at 7pm on South Field.

The team who wins Wasatch Cup proves to be a predictor of who will play in the National Collegiate Championship game, with the Wasatch Cup victor playing for the title every year since 2005.

BYU Hosts UCRC Twin Bill on Saturday

Provo, UT–The BYU Cougars set to close out March with a pair of matches on Saturday against in-state foes Dixie State College and Utah Valley University.

Both matches are against Utah Collegiate Rugby Conference rivals with the first game against Dixie State kicking off at 1pm MT. The UVU game will follow immediately thereafter or at approximately 2.30pm MT.

Neither team has officially met this season, but the Cougars and Dixie State did scrimmage during the Red Rock Tournament in Mesquite earlier this season.

“This will be a good series of games for us,” said BYU head coach David Smyth, “Again, it gives us an opportunity to get a lot of playing time near the end of regular season and to continue our development as a team.”

Both matches are set to be played on South Field with admission being $8 for adults, $5 for students, $2 for children 12-6 and kids under the age of 5 are free. Admission will get fans in to both games for the price of one.

BYU’s first match against Dixie State will be broadcast live on

Saturday’s matches against Dixie State and UVU round out the Cougars’ March schedule before next week’s mammoth clash in the Wasatch Cup against rival Utah. Kick-off for this match is set for Friday night, April 5th at 7pm on South Field.

The Wasatch Cup clash against the Utes serves as the end to BYU’s regular season before the Cougars prepare for their post-season championship run in the Varsity Cup which kicks-off in Los Angeles with BYU taking on hosts UCLA on April 20th. The BYU vs. UCLA Varsity Cup quarterfinal match kicks off at 4pm PT on North Athletic Field.

Cougars Shovel Their Way To Victory Over SUU


Provo, UT–After helping clear three inches of snow off of South Field, the BYU Rugby team suited up and beat the Southern Utah University by the score of 98-3.

An overnight snow storm left South Field Stadium covered in the white stuff, but a determined BYU grounds crew with the help of the BYU players helped clear the field of snow so today’s match could be played.

After the field was cleared the delayed kick-off began a game that was played amid a constant flurry of snow and in wet and cold conditions.

The conditions factored in early and often as both teams dropped and knocked-on balls along with passes going amiss on a number of occasions.

Despite the conditions BYU would garner enough possession and field position to create 16 try-scoring opportunities.

Of the 16 tries scored 13 different BYU players saw the end goal area to cap off BYU’s highest scoring output on the season.

BYU would score 53 first-half points to SUU’s lone penalty kick in the 15th minute with a second half tally of 35 points amid worsening weather conditions.

“Today was a tough one,” said BYU asst. coach Kimball Kjar, “Credit to our guys. It’s not every day that you have to clear your own field before your game, but we had some good learning moments come out of this one I think. Regardless, this will be one the guys don’t forget anytime soon.”

The BYU Cougars next ready for a Saturday double-header as they host Dixie State College and Utah Valley University March 30th on South Field.

BYU Blasts Snow College

Provo, UT–On a sunny but chilly evening on South Field the BYU Cougars beat the Snow College Badgers by the score of 91-0.

Although the match was a sanctioned Utah Collegiate Rugby Conference game both teams agreed to shorten the halves to 30 minutes.

Despite the shortened periods the Cougars would run in 15 tries and convert on 8 of them.

BYU’s Jon Conde who wore the 12 jersey tonight started the BYU try-scoring in the 1st minute after a loose pass by the Badgers. Wing Richard Jones would convert and the Cougars took a quick 7-0 lead.

Fellow wing Andrew Carver would dot down next in the 3rd minute and Jones would convert to push it 14-0.

BYU assistant coach Steve St. Pierre who led the Cougars’ efforts tonight said the team started fast by sticking to the the team’s patterns.

“These guys did a good job stepping up tonight,” St. Pierre said, “They stuck to our attack and defensive patterns and were able to get up early on [Snow College]. From there it was just about playing solid for the rest of the game.”

Following St. Pierre’s direction the Cougars would dot down 7 more tries before the halftime whistle to make the scoreline 57-0.

Another 6 tries in the second half, as both teams opened up the substitutes restraints, would give BYU a a final score of 91-0 over Snow College.

The Cougars next face another UCRC foe in Southern Utah University on South Field this Saturday. Kick off for the SUU game is set for 1pm MT with the gates opening at 12pm.

Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for students and $2 for kids under 12 with kids under 5 free.

BYU Preps for In-State Foes Snow College & SUU

Provo, UT–The BYU Cougars are preparing for the a two-game week as they host Snow College and Southern Utah University on South Field on Thursday and Saturday respectively.

Snow College comes to Provo after a snow-cancellation caused the Utah Collegiate Rugby Conference to reschedule the match for this upcoming Thursday night at 6.30pm.

The Thursday fixture with Snow College will be a free admission affair for fans and students. Gates open at 6.15pm.

The Cougars will also host a strong Southern Utah University side on Saturday with a kick-off at 1pm MT. Admission to the SUU game will be the regular cost of $8 for adults and $5 for students.

The SUU game will also be streamed live online for viewing as well.

When asked about his team’s approach to two home games in the span of three days BYU’s head coach David Smyth said he plans to use a full complement of players.

“We’re nearing the end of our regular season,” Smyth said, “But we still have a ways to go in terms of our cohesive development before the Varsity Cup postseason begins. So we’ll likely use these coming games as a chance for us to continue our team’s progress and give a number of guys some time to play between the two games.”

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Late BYU Rally Too Little Against NYAC

BYU scrum half Luke Mocke races away from USA Eagle and NYAC scrum half Mike Petri.
BYU scrum half Luke Mocke races away from USA Eagle and NYAC scrum half Mike Petri.

Provo, UT–The BYU Cougars scored two late tries in the waning minutes of the match but fell short of upsetting the reining USA men’s division champs New York Athletic Club (NYAC) losing on South Field by the score of 22-16 in a hotly contested match.

BYU’s first scoring opportunity came in the 5th minute as a jarring tackle from center Paul Lasike caused the NYAC flanker Paul Denise to knock the ball loose and into the hands of the BYU wing Chris Wernli who paced 80 meters for what was a supposed try.

But a curious call from referee Mark Ormsby brought the play back to the original knock-on from the Lasike tackle.

BYU would continue their efforts of managing the field position which eventually offered the Cougars their opening points from the boot of Lasike in the 7th minute following a NYAC high tackle.

NYAC would counter however and own the majority of possession and field position for the remainder of the 1st half.

With NYAC knocking on the Cougars’ goal in the 10th minute after a series of repeated lineouts, mauls and goal line phases the BYU defense would cause the turn over and hold NYAC out of the endzone.

But the continued pressure of losing the field position battle and playing close to their goal line eventually led to the Cougars succumbing to the NYAC attack as Eagle scrum half Mike Petri took a quick tap from 5 meters out for the game’s opening try.

BYU Preps for Champions Challenge with NYAC

BYU Rugby 2012 National Collegiate Champions
BYU Rugby 2012 National Collegiate Champions

Provo, UT–Following the Cougars’ 91-3 home-opening victory against Utah State last Saturday, the BYU Cougars are readying for this weekend’s Champions Challange tilt against the 2012 men’s Super League Champions New York Athletic Club (NYAC).

Saturday’s meeting between the 2012 men’s division champion and the 2012 collegiate champion is the first between the two clubs, but will likely prove to be one of the 2013 season highlights in American rugby.

BYU has won two of the last four collegiate championships (2009, ’12), while NYAC are no slouches by winning four of the last eight Super League championships (2005, ’08, ’10, ’12).

NYAC comes to Provo with just one game under their belt in 2013 against fellow men’s division foe Life Men’s Club where NYAC won 12-5 in a wet, but physical affair.

NYAC finished 2012 season beating Old Puget Sound Beach in the Super League final by the score of 32-29 and is looking to make a charge at the newly founded Elite Cup which pits America’s top men’s teams against each other.

Leading the way for NYAC are former Penn State All American and current USA National scrum half Mike Petri. Pairing with Petri in the NYAC backfield will be fellow USA National Team member and flyhalf Toby L’Estrange.

Other notable NYAC players are USA National Team member Brian Doyle, forwards James Denise and Neil McMillan and No. 8 Al McFarland.