The #1 ranked BYU Cougars have had six straight appearances in the national title. With a win against the UCLA Bruins this Saturday, they will be one step closer to their seventh.
The Cougars will confidently step into Saturday’s quarterfinal match with an undefeated 14-0 record. Having earned their second consecutive Western Conference Championship, the pressure to excel rises.
“The boys have been working hard and are preparing well,” Coach David Smyth said. “They are dialed in and focused with the task at hand. I haven’t seen them this focused for a while.”
The team has had plenty of success this season and they are eager for more.
“We have just been perfecting the little things,” junior flanker Ryan Roundy said. “Little things make a big difference.”
The Cougars are well aware of the challenges they face against UCLA.
“They have some fast guys on their back line, so we’ve been making sure our defense is ready for them,” Roundy said.
The Bruins are 14-4 on the season and have shown some defensive intensity and a fierce playing style throughout the season.
“We are feeling confident, but not underestimating anything,” senior Ray Forrester said.
Shawn Davies says that with finals out of the way, they have been able to focus fully on their game and the excitement is building up as they use Saturday’s game as a springboard for the rest of the tournament.
“We are really excited”, Davies said. “We love playing for BYU fans. It brings out the best in us.”
The Cougars will be playing this Saturday at 1 p.m. on the BYU South Fields. Admission for the match is $10 for adults, $5 for students and free for kids 12 and under. Tickets can be bought at the gate.
For more information on the Cougars’ post-season schedule, roster and other team news, fans may visit byurugby.com.