News

BYU Cougars face off against SLCC Bruins

Provo, UT—BYU (6-0) is set to play Salt Lake Community College this Saturday, March 7, on BYU’s South Field at 1 p.m. MT.

This game is a special event because it is Fan Appreciation Day; entrance to the match is free.

“We wanted to let our fans know how much we appreciate them,” said BYU rugby assistant coach Wayne Tarawhiti. “We’re hoping to get a good crowd. I think fans are anxious to get back to the South Field to cheer on their favorite rugby team.”

The Cougars will be sticking around for a while; the upcoming season games are home games. This will be BYU’s first home game of the season due to the Air Force Academy cancellation two weeks ago.

Next week’s home game is against Saint Mary’s College. BYU played the team in California last weekend and beat them 32–28. Saint Mary’s is the only school to upset BYU last season.

Salt Lake Community College is in its third year of club competition. The team was organized in an attempt to introduce more students to the sport of rugby and invite them to be a part of a team.

Be sure to support the Cougars this weekend as live game coverage will be available on Twitter.

BYU improves to 6-0 against St. Mary’s

Moraga, CA- Senior center Seki Kofe’s try in the 55th minute followed by junior fly half Jonathan Linehan’s conversion against a scrappy #4 St. Mary’s defense put #1 BYU’s point total at 32 for the day despite a rough first half.

The visiting BYU Cougars (6-0) won 32-28 defeating the Gaels improving their win streak to 18 since the Gaels handed the Cougars their lone defeat of the 2014 at St. Mary’s on Feb. 15, 2014. The 18-game win streak includes the 43-33 Varsity Cup National Championship victory over the California Golden Bears.

“We picked up the pace in the second half which made all the difference. Our forwards ran hard increasing our confidence as a team,” said BYU rugby head coach David Smyth.

BYU struggled in the first forty minutes despite an early penalty kick by Linehan in the 4th minute and a quick try by senior fullback Ryan Blaser in the 10th minute which gave the Cougars a 10-0 lead. The Gaels responded with great passing and kicking as they scored 18 unanswered points going into half-time with an 18-10 lead.

Subbing in for Blaser in the second-half, junior fullback Joshua Whippy scored a try in the 41st minute closing the gap to 15-18. Six minutes later, Linehan sent a penalty kick through the uprights tying the game at 18-18.

“I knew it was a critical moment of the game since St. Mary’s came out hard in the first-half,” said Linehan of his second penalty kick. “I knew I could count on my teammates to keep the momentum going.”

The momentum increased for the Cougars as freshman winger Calvin Whiting scored a try in the 48th minute as a good conversion by Linehan increased the lead to 25-18. The Gaels responded four minutes later with a penalty kick changing the score to 25-21.

BYU takes on tough competition this weekend

Moraga, CA—BYU is on the road again and ready to play one of its toughest competitors: St. Mary’s College in California. The game is at 12 p.m. PST this Saturday, February 28.

After an unexpected game cancellation against the Air Force Academy last weekend, BYU is anxious to get back on the field, and St. Mary’s is a fitting opponent. It is the only team that disrupted BYU’s win streak last year (L 30–24).

“Not only are we ready to get back in action and play, but we’re coming into this game with a lot of energy and preparation,” said Kyle Sumsion, BYU team captain. “Last year we weren’t as focused. We don’t want to make that mistake again.”

While the Cougars went on to defeat the Gaels in their second matchup of the 2014 season, the first game was still a disappointment. To make sure this coming game isn’t a repeat of history, the Cougars have put in extra hours at practice this past week.

This season St. Mary’s has experienced some turnover in players and as a result has had some ups and downs. The team is coming to the match against BYU with the latest win against San Diego State (W 78–5). St. Mary’s Tommy Wallace and Kingsley McGowan are leading the team, both offensively and defensively.

In 2014, St. Mary’s was named the Men’s College Team of the Year by American Rugby. Most recently Coach Tim O’Brien was awarded Coach of the Year on January 24, 2015 by USA Rugby.

“It’s no lie that St. Mary’s is a good school and has a great rugby team,” said BYU rugby assistant coach Wayne Tarawhiti. “But BYU has had no losses this season. This will probably be one of the most exciting games up to this point in the season.”

This weekend’s game will be broadcast live on SMC Gael Vision at www.smcgaels.com. For a direct link, visit http://rugby.byu.edu/schedule/2015-schedule.

BYU Rugby Home Opener Cancelled

The BYU rugby home opener for Saturday, Feb. 21, against Air Force Academy is cancelled due to weather conditions.

Colorado received a winter storm warning with the expectation of moderate to heavy snow making road travel potentially hazardous for the visiting Air Force Falcons. For immediate updates, follow BYU rugby on Twitter at @byurugby.

Utah Youth Rugby Special for BYU Rugby Home Opener

Provo, UT–The BYU Rugby program is pleased to announce that it is offering all Utah Youth Rugby players and coaches the opportunity to visit South Field to watch the Cougars in action for the discounted rate of $3 this Saturday as BYU hosts the Air Force Academy at 1pm MST.

All Utah Youth Rugby players who come to South Field wearing their team jersey or other team-related gear will admitted at the discounted price of $3. This discount is extended to all coaches and staff members for the teams.

Utah Youth Rugby (UYR), which oversees the leadership of the sport in Utah for the high school ages and below, is one of America’s top State-Based Rugby Organizations that is following the national average of being the fastest-growing youth sport in America.

For more information and details on the UYR please visit www.UtahYouthRugby.org.

***It is HIGHLY recommended that all UYR players, coaches and parents who will be coming to South Field on Saturday plan to arrive early (12.30pm) in order to avoid long ticket lines that are typical just before kick-off.

BYU returns to Provo on Saturday to take on Air Force

Provo, UT—Rise and shout, BYU (5-0) is finally back in town and ready to take on the Air Force Academy in the first home game of the season this Saturday, February 21 at 1 p.m. MT at BYU’s South Field.

“There is nothing like the first home game of the season and feeling such strong support from our fans,” said Kyle Sumsion, BYU team captain. “We’re happy to be home.”

Up to this point in the season BYU has had five straight wins and zero losses, the latest victory over Utah State (64-12) before returning to Provo. The Air Force Academy reports only one loss and most recently defeated Pittsburg, Dartmouth and Georgetown in the Las Vegas Invitational, where the team was made up of several Academy grads as well as active duty members.

The BYU-Air Force Academy rivalry is not strictly reserved to football; both schools have strong rugby programs and have a history of playing each other. The last time the Cougars took on the Falcons at home was in 2012 when the Cougars dominated 76-20.

Becoming an athlete for the Academy is not easy. Applying to the school is a rigorous process. To apply, hopeful applicants must first be nominated by a nominating authority, such as a congressman. Applicants must also excel in four specific categories: academic (most applicants are in the top three percent of their high schools), character development, extracurricular activities and fitness. They must also pass a medical exam.

BYU defeats Utah State for fifth win of the season

Logan, UT- Utah State’s scrappy play was not enough as the visiting Cougars (5-0) defeated the USU Aggies at Legacy Field in Logan 64-12.

“The Aggies played hard to defend their turf,” said BYU rugby assistant coach Steve St. Pierre. “Our team came out strong which led to multiple tries in our win.”

BYU’s ability to chase down runners and loose balls led to ten tries. Win Elkington and Joshua Anderson scored two tries each in the match. The Cougars also played well defensively holding the Aggies to zero tries in the first half.

BYU returns to South Field on Feb. 21 to play Air Force for the first home game of the 2015 season.

BYU Rugby 50th Anniversary Celebration details released

BYU 50th Website Pic
BYU 50th Website Pic

Provo, UT–The BYU Rugby program today released it’s 50th Anniversary Celebration schedule and registration details slated for April 17th-18th.

The weekend of activities will begin Friday, April 17th with a team and alumni reception at the Hinckley Alumni Center on the BYU campus. Festivities will begin at 6pm MST with current players and staff having the opportunity to meet and mingle with players from BYU Rugby’s past.

The following day alumni and their families will be able to re-live the glory days and strap on the boots for a morning game of touch rugby on the Cougars’ home pitch of South Field.

After the touch rugby alumni and their families are invited to join the current team and staff for their traditional pre-game devotional and jersey presentation at 11am MST.

The morning activities will then shift to the afternoon where the Cougars will host a Varsity Cup semi-final on South Field. Assuming BYU advances past the quarterfinal round BYU will kick-off this match at 1pm MST where the alumni and their families will be special guests on the Cougars’ sideline for the match-up.

Culminating the weekend of festivities will be the official 50th Anniversary Celebration to be held at Riverside Country Club in Provo, UT. Past players and coaches will gather to celebrate the history of BYU’s winningest team sport along with the Cougars’ most recent tally of four national championships, including the most recent three-in-a-row.

BYU takes on Utah State

Provo, UT—After a triumphant weekend, the Cougars (4-0) are back in Utah and ready to take on the Aggies on Saturday, February 7 in Logan, Utah on the Legacy Field.

BYU vs. UNLV scrum at the Red Rock Invitational on Jan. 31, 2015 (Photo by Andrea Wride)
BYU vs. UNLV scrum at the Red Rock Invitational on Jan. 31, 2015 (Photo by Andrea Wride)

“It was a fast-paced weekend,” said BYU rugby head coach David Smyth. “We had a great time at the Red Rock Invitational and played some good teams, but we’re definitely looking forward to being back in Utah.”

The last time BYU played Utah State University was in two years ago at home in Provo. The Cougars beat the Aggies 91-3.

USU is a club sport within Campus Recreation. The club began in the 1960s and is the oldest club at USU. The team recently had a change in leadership and is now under the direction of Coach Oisin Tong.

“This season is off to a good start,” said Coach Tong in a recent interview. “We won both games at the Red Rock Invitational last weekend. Last season we won every game except one. We’re excited for this upcoming game against BYU.”

BYU will enter Saturday’s match with two solid wins at the Red Rock Invitational Tournament this past weekend. After beating Cal Poly SLO 74-5 and UNLV 99-0, BYU is in a good position to keep the winning streak going.

BYU holds Cal Poly to one try in Red Rock Invitational

Mesquite, NV-Senior lock Dan Hubert’s two tries in the first six minutes of the match set the pace as the Cougars (4-0) beat Cal Poly SLO 74-5 on Saturday, Jan. 31, in the Red Rock Invitational.

BYU sophomore No. 8 Hayden Johnson scores a try against Cal Poly SLO on Jan. 31, 2015 (Photo by Andrea Wride)
BYU sophomore No. 8 Hayden Johnson scores a try against Cal Poly SLO on Jan. 31, 2015 (Photo by Andrea Wride)

BYU’s stingy defense kept Cal Poly to five points in the game as it improved to 4-0. The 39-point margin came as a result of BYU’s flow playing the ball out of the ruck.

“I’m very pleased with our effort and execution today,” said BYU rugby head coach David Smyth of his players. “I thought the first twenty minutes was the most accurate rugby we’ve played this season.”

The Cougars moved the ball quickly and efficiently despite the physical presence of the Mustangs.

“Cal Poly offered a physical challenge at the breakdown but we created many opportunities to score,” Smyth said.

BYU junior scrumhalf Luke Mocke, who scored a try in the 68th minute, added that the game was more physical than the score showed due to the size and athleticism of Cal Poly’s players.

In the end Cal Poly’s athleticism was not enough as BYU’s solid forward play allowed eight different Cougars to score tries. Sophomore wing Tua Laei, freshman center Calvin Whiting and sophomore flanker Ara Elkington joined Hubert in scoring two tries each. The BYU Cougars will play the Utah State Aggies in Logan, UT on Saturday, Feb. 7.

Pages