By Brett Hatch
BYU”s rugby team weathered the cold and tough play from UVSC to win the cross-town match-up.
The match ended after 15 minutes of play into the second half, but the game was over long before the half ended, as BYU beat UVSC 36-0.
“We were really fired up for this game because we hadn”t played in two months,” center Kevin Vest said. “The first 15 minutes showed how excited we were to play.”
BYU scored four of its six tries in the first 20 minutes of play.
“Kalem (Nordstrom) sets it up really well for us backs and he can draw two guys, which opens up the gaps for me and the other backs,” Vest said.
Five of the backs scored a try: Vest, John Blaser, Pierre Fourie, Mike Packer and Salesi Sika. Both UVSC and BYU coaching staffs said the Cougars” backs looked very good.
BYU”s coaches, however, expected difficulty at the forward positions because of UVSC”s bigger forward pack, but the Cougar forwards showed promise.
“They (BYU”s forwards) matched up really well with us,” said Kirk Ginn, UVSC head coach. “They drove our scrum in situations we didn”t expect them to and they made it very hard for us to perform.”
The Cougars dominated the game, but UVSC”s Jared Hoyt came up with two potentially dangerous turnovers. Hoyt drove the ball deep into BYU”s territory, but the Wolverines were unable to capitalize on either opportunity.
In the second half, the game started to get ugly. Benches, teammates and fans stormed the field from both sides, forming a circle at the half line. There was a good deal of pushing and shoving, but no one was ejected.
“We always know that playing UVSC is a physical game,” said Jared Akenhead, BYU head coach. “There”s a lot of antagonism from them toward BYU. They turn their aggression into the wrong channels and they do a good job of provoking our guys.”
UVSC did not come to play rugby, Akenhead said. The quick scoring turned the game focus for UVSC from rugby to frustration and cheap hits.
“We”re not going to focus on what UVSC did. We”ll take away the positives aspects of the game and work on some of the negatives. It”s all about what we did and what we can do better,” Akenhead said.