Saint Mary’s rallied late to beat the top ranked Cougars Saturday, in Moraga, Calif. BYU led 24-20 in the second half, but the sixth ranked Gaels scored the game’s final 10 points to steal the victory.
BYU head coach David Smyth credited Saint Mary’s and is taking away positives from the loss.
“All in all I think we got exactly what we were looking for: a hard game,” Smyth said. “Obviously we are disappointed we didn’t come away on the right side of the scoreboard but I think we can learn a lot from this. All credit to Saint Mary’s. I know they were definitely ready for us. We’ll take a lot of good from this and take our lessons, and at the end of the day, we’ll be a better team for it.”
The Cougars got out to the early 6-5 lead, but trailed 20-16 at halftime. Early in the second half, BYU’s Kyle Sumsion scored a try to give the Cougars a 21-20 lead after a failed conversion.
In the 58th minute, BYU extended that lead to 24-20 on a kick from Jonny Linehan. Linehan had four kicks in the game.
The Gaels then fought back, scoring 10 unanswered points to close out the game.
Sumsion, the captain for BYU, acknowledged that his team did not preform to the best of its ability.
“We lost to the team that wanted it more,” Sumsion said. “We played hard and fought hard, just committed too many mistakes. I am excited to play them in a couple weeks to show them how BYU rugby really plays.”
The Cougars will come home to face the Glendale Raptors in two weeks, March 1st, at South Field. Saint Mary’s will visit Provo on March 8th.