BYU rugby defeated the University of Utah 49-12 on Friday night.
The Cougars led from the get-go, putting up most of their points in the first half. The score, however, doesn’t reflect the rapid exchanges of possession. Penalties, turnovers, and missed passes gave Utah and BYU equal time with the ball. Despite Utah’s long possessions, they only scored once in the half. BYU led 28-5 at the intermission.
“We kept the ball well in the first half,” said center Jared Whippy. “We made our tackles and didn’t give up tries and scored when we broke through.”
The second half brought equal energy and aggressiveness from both teams, though Utah maintained control of the ball for most of the half. After 10 minutes, the Cougars scored a try but Utah kept the pressure on. The Utes lengthy possessions brought many opportunities to score, however, BYU’s defense kept them at bay.
“There were very long phases of the game where they held possession of the ball and kept it away from us,” said head coach David Smyth. “I thought we did a good job of being patient and looking for opportunities to put points on the board.”
Despite a 20-minute scoring drought, BYU managed to capitalize on a key breakthrough in the 70th minute with a try by Josh Anderson. Utah responded with a try, which was followed immediately by another BYU try. This concluded the game and solidified the Cougars’ win 49-12.
“I didn’t expect a huge margin in this game,” said senior Luke Mocke. “They came out strong and it was really emotional. It was a good win tonight.”
This is BYU’s last home game of the season. Mocke was among the graduating seniors that were honored tonight.
“This may be the last night we seniors play here at the south field,” Mocke said. “But I’m very grateful for the experience of playing for BYU rugby. I’ve given a lot to the team, but the team has given me even more.”
BYU will travel next week to Arizona for the Varsity Cup Tournament. The first game will be held on April 9.