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BYU vs Utah Rugby Recap: BYU Takes home the Wasatch Cup

In a Wasatch Cup that featured the #3 BYU Cougars and the #9 Utah Utes, the Cougars prevailed, 41-21, marking the ninth win in ten years.

BYU celebrates after another win against Utah
BYU celebrates after another win against Utah
Kevin Kennedy

On a beautiful night for rugby at South Field, the 3rd ranked BYU Cougars faced off against in-state and 9th ranked, University of Utah. The Cougars were looking for their ninth victory in ten games with a loss in 2005 marring a perfect record over that span. With a tremendous crowd on hand and led by Jordan Lowry, the Cougars beat their rival 41-21.

1st Half

The two teams came out emotionally charged and ready to play as they traded kicks back and forth for positioning. The emotion soon took control as the teams traded penalties before finding their rhythm. Just a few minutes into the game the Cougars received their first chance to score as they opted for a penalty kick that was missed to the left. Just a few minutes later the Cougars were called for a penalty as they entered from the side and Utah was awarded a kick that was missed to the right. The teams continued to play physical as bodies were flying around the field and a couple of powerful hits energized the overflowing crowd. At the 15 minute mark the Cougars received their second penalty kick but missed to the right, leaving the score at 0-0. Soon after the Cougars drew first blood as Kody Thompson dragged a defender for the try. After a converted kick by Jonathan Linehan the Cougars led 7-0. In the 23rd minute the Utes kicked to clear the ball and Jordan Lowry wove in and out of players en route to a dazzling try that gave BYU a 14-0 lead ofter the kick.

On the ensuing kick the Utah kick didn't go the required distance and gave the ball to BYU. With an offside call going against Utah, the Cougars opted to give the ball to Linehan who added three points on the kick to lead 17-0. At the 30 minute mark the Cougars took a hit as Kody Thompson earned a yellow card and put BYU a man down for the rest of the half. As a result the Cougars defense collapsed at the line and ended with a try and cut the deficit to 17-7. Shortly after the Cougars created a turnover and Lowry ran the ball in for his second try of the night. With the missed kick the Cougars held a 22-7 lead as the halftime clock expired.

2nd Half

The Cougars defense came out strong in the second half as they pushed the Utes back time and time again before causing a turnover. On the following possession the Cougars pushed down the field and Linehan ran in for the try. The kick was missed left and BYU held a 27-7 lead. After another missed kick by Linehan the Cougars gained the ball back and pushed hard to get Lowry his third try of the game. Another converted kick gave the Cougars a 34-7 lead but the Utes weren't done yet. Utah pushed deep as they forced the Cougar defenders back to their line. With another yellow card for the Cougars at the 59 minute mark the Cougars again were down a man and the defense stood tough before allowing another try and kick conversion at the 60 minute mark. Physical play continued to be the trademark of the day as powerful hits were delivered by both teams and momentum began to swing to the Utes. After more pressure being put on the BYU defense, the Utes continued to drive and pushed through for another try at the 68 minute mark. The last 10 minutes of the game resulted in turnover after turnover by both teams until a penalty kick by Linehan hit the post and fell back into the field of play. Only a minute later, at the 75 minute mark, the Cougars again pushed forward but this time it ended with a Lelann Latu try and with the converted kick, again hitting the post first, and the Cougars finished the scoring with a 41-21 win. Both teams played well and provided the crowd an exciting evening of BYU rugby. With the win the Cougars take home the Wasatch Cup yet again and will have another engraving on the trophy base.

Next Game

The Cougars will now travel to take on Arizona State University in the Rugby Bowl 2014. The game will be on April 12th at 1 pm. Following Arizona State the Cougars will begin their quest for the Varsity Cup in the Quarterfinals on April 19th.