Back at South Field for the first time since April 2015, the Brigham Young University Cougars kicked off the 2016 home schedule against the Air Force Zoomies with a solid 80-8 win on Saturday, Feb. 27.
“I credit Air Force for making the trip and coming out strong both halves,” said BYU rugby head coach David Smyth. “They kept running hard all 80 minutes. Our boys stuck to our game plan which paid off in the victory.”
Air Force put the first points on the board in the fourth minute of the match capitalizing on a penalty giving the Zoomies an early 3-0 lead over the Cougars. An 11-minute Cougar scoring drought was put to an end after BYU’s junior flanker Ara Elkington scored a try. Sophomore center Calvin Whiting’s conversion was good bumping up BYU’s score to 7-3 over Air Force.
“Air Force came out strong at the start of the game,” said Whiting of the beginning of the match. “Ara’s try helped set the tone for the rest of the game.”
BYU then went on to score three more tries over the next 20 minutes with tries from wing Josh Anderson, prop Ricky Tu’ihalangingie, flanker Jackson Kaka and wing Kevin Schofield respectively. Whiting made the next three out of four conversions increasing BYU’s lead to 33-3 before half-time.
“Our forwards not only did really well in the scrums today,” said BYU rugby assistant coach Wayne Tarawhiti who coaches the forwards. “We also got to see several tries from them as well.”
The Zoomies started off the second half strong putting together several attacking phases that led to their only try of the match at the 41st minute. BYU’s Ryan Blaser answered with a try two minutes later. Whiting made the conversion increasing BYU’s lead to 40-8.