Women’s rugby claims automatic bid to Sweet 16

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Going into Saturday’s matchup against Colorado State University, the BYU women’s rugby team had only 11 total points scored against them. After the game, those 11 points stayed constant as BYU demolished CSU 41-0.

In addition to its third shut out in a row by 40 or more points, the Cougars claimed their spot in the Sweet 16 in the women’s national collegiate championships. Even though a score of 41-0 sounds like a slaughter, the Cougars overcame some challenging roadblocks to get there. One of those roadblocks came from another injury to BYU’s scrumhalf Chelsie Hill in the first few minutes of play.

“Going into the game girls were already playing positions that they don’t usually play,” senior Ela Wolfgramm said, “and when our scrumhalf got hurt our team stepped up and I think we were able to show how diverse our team can be and how well we work together no matter what the circumstance.”

A scrumhalf in rugby is similar to a quarterback in football. They are the playmaker. After a scrum nothing can happen unless the scrumhalf successfully gets the ball out and passes it to the backs.

Hill’s loss forced the Cougars to make quick adjustments and continue playing.

According to assistant coach Kara Remington, CSU came out more aggressive then expected. The team was caught off guard and the ball stayed deep in BYU’s territory for the first several minutes of play.

“We were forced to play quite a bit of defense deep in our territory for the first couple of minutes,” Remington said, “but we stayed calm and were able to finally score our first try about eight minutes into the game by Kristi Jackson.”

Even though Colorado continued to play physical, BYU took control and scored several more trys from Samantha Wright and Rebekah Siebach putting BYU up 20-0 at halftime.

The first half gave the Cougars a chance to find out what they are made of, stepping up to a challenge and not looking back.

“I’m proud of the team for staying flexible and adjusting when we lost Chelsie,” Remington said. “Sam Wright stepped up and played scrum half for the rest of the game; a position she had never played before.”

This win over CSU may just seem like another kill for the Cougars, but it puts the team one step closer to its goal of winning a National Championship — a goal many of the players have sought for the last four years.

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