A closer look at BYU’s championship rugby season

277

It was familiar ground for the Cougars. They had been here six times before, but only once had they achieved their goal. The pressure of BYU’s winning tradition seemed to be a driving force.

At a virtual home game, the Cougars did not disappoint. Thousands of BYU fans gathered at the Rio Tinto stadium in Sandy on Saturday night to witness the BYU Rugby team take the national championship title against Arkansas State. The final score was 49-42.

“It was nothing short of fantastic,” Head Coach David Smyth said. “Losing just wasn’t an option.”

[media-credit id=81 align=”alignleft” width=”300″][/media-credit]
BYU wins the rugby national championship Saturday night beating Arkansas State at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.
BYU went undefeated this season en route to a seventh straight championship appearance, showing they are still one of the elite teams in college rugby. The Cougars averaged 65 points per game and hit the century mark twice, defeating their opponents by an average of 50 points per game. Defensively, they held their opponents to 15 points per game.

“Any mistake you make is times ten against them because they are going to do something incredible with it,” Arkansas State’s Zac Mizell said.

Senior prop Mikey Su’a was named MVP for his tenacity in Saturday’s game.

“We just tried to position ourselves in places that would keep the momentum going,” Su’a said. “It makes it easy when there are playmakers everywhere.”

Senior scrumhalf Shaun Davies scored a total of 24 points in Saturday’s game. Davies has been invited to try out for the USA Men’s National Rugby team, The Eagles, at the end of the month.

“It was definitely an emotional week,” Davies said. “Coming into this game the seniors knew it was our last game playing for BYU and we just wanted to play our all. I’m ecstatic and happy as I can be.”

The Cougars were off to a slow start, but BYU’s captain Ryan Roundy’s initiative kept the team moving forward to the title.

“It feels amazing,” Roundy said. “All the hard work we put in this year paid off and it feels absolutely amazing.”

After the Cougars had been crowned champions they performed the Haka for the Red Wolves as a demonstration of respect.

“It was incredibly gracious,” Arkansas State Head Coach Matt Huckaby said. “They are the type of team you want to play in a national championship.”

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email