Women’s rugby second string rolls over Weber State

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As in times past this season, the BYU women’s rugby team rolled over an in-state opponent by large numbers, even with a majority of its first string cheering from the sideline.

The first string cheering from the bench was not a result of injury or ineligibility, but simply a chance to give the second string more experience. The second string players still led the Cougars to a 46-8 win over the Weber State University Wildcats.

“It was really encouraging to see our B-team play,” assistant coach Kara Remington said. “To help them out, we mixed in a few of our experienced players. The newer players are able to play their best when experienced players are alongside them.”

At the start of the game, the Wildcats came out stronger than expected. This surprise only motivated the Cougars, helping them to bounce back quickly, allowing the newcomers to run up the scoreboard.

“We played pretty well,” co-captain Samantha Wright said. “We still need to be in better shape as a team for the stronger teams, but our new girls got a chance to play. Just by playing they get to figure it all out. There is only so much they can be taught.”

One such newcomer is Nalia Tafua, a sophomore from Laie, Hawaii. According to coaches she has contributed a lot to the team coming off the bench in the first few weeks of the season.

“Being a new player,” Tafua said, “I needed to step up to the plate to help my team. It was great having the experience from the starters to help us out. They were able to coach us on the field as we played.”

Even though she has not played rugby for long, not knowing a lot of what is to come, she said she has full faith in her team that they will rise to the occasion for the stronger competition.

Before heading to the sweet 16 the team expects strong competition still awaits them.

“Air Force is the best team we will play this fall,” Wright said. “We played them a couple years ago and they were good. They know what they’re doing.”

During the last several seasons, the Cougars have won mostly in the first half of the game during fall play. But the Cougars feel because of its poor strength of schedule during the fall season few teams match their talent and experience. Because of the lack of competition they have especially struggled in games that are decided late.

“Our problem each season,” Remington said, “is we don’t get the opportunity to play games that come down to the wire. Then when they happen, it’s hard because we’ve never been there before.”

This past season in a final four matchup against Army, the Cougars and Falcons battled back and forth, exchanging trys most of the match. However, the Cougars were not able to hold on and were defeated in the final minutes.

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