On Saturday the 12-1 Brigham Young University Cougars faced off against the 6-2 San Francisco Golden Gate Rugby Club. SFGG presented a unique challenge to the Cougar squad because they are the defending men's division champions, and not a college level team. Despite that, BYU came out with the "W" with a score of 45-33.
THE FIRST HALF
SFGG opened up the scoring in the fourth minute of the game with Volney Rouse on the try, but after that it was the Cougars all the way in the first half as they scored five tries in the first half. Josh Anderson opened up the scoring for the Cougars and was followed by back-to-back tries for Chris Wernli. The second of which he was able the outside edge and scamper in for the try. Josh Whippy made a nice defensive play, turned offensive, when he got in the SFGG passing lane, intercepted the pass and then outran everyone else on the field for the try. Things got chippy out there and SFGG went down a man after one of their players was shown a yellow card for punching a BYU player. Josh Whippy shortly after that went down and was helped off the field. Jared Whippy then made a nice move to the inside at the 40 minute mark and scored the final try of the half. After the game, Coach David Smyth said that the first half of the game was the best half of rugby the team had played all season. The Cougars looked like they were about to roll SFGG with a score of 31-7 going into the half.
THE SECOND HALF
BYU opened the scoring of the second half off of a nice pass to Jared Whippy who ran it in for the try. SFGG was not about to go down without a fight, in a couple of ways, and quickly put two more tries up on the board. The second half seemed to mean a little more to both teams as the hits got harder and tensions rose. Two BYU players were shown yellow cards, including Jonathan Linehan for a retaliation after an SFGG player stomped on his shin. BYU got another try in the 59th minute that was followed up by two more tries for SFGG as they continued to chip away at their deficit from the first half. That, however, proved to be the final try of the game. The Cougars won 45-33 in a very physical game.
BYU will play the University of Utah at South Field on Friday, April 4th, at 7:00 pm. Put it on your calendar as this is a rivalry game that you do not want to miss as it will likely be another physical outing. Make it date night, or bring the whole family; it's sure to be a highly entertaining game.