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BYU Rugby Recap: Cougars rout Knights 71-10

BYU wins big at home again

Kevin Kennedy

BYU Rugby is on a tear this season.  This year's team is winning their games by an average margin of 50 points and they lived up to the billing by defeating the Army-West Point Black Knights by 61 points, by the score of 71-10.  Despite the score, the match was well played by both teams.

Army came into this game after a big win over Dartmouth and were 6-3 coming in, losing those three games by an average of 12 points.  They played disciplined rugby and were able to take advantage of BYU mistakes at times, but their marches down the field stalled instead of ending up as points.

BYU, on the other hand, was able to turn the Army mistakes into points.  They scored eleven trys as a team and sophomore Calvin Whiting was 8/11 on kick attempts.  BYU was very good at executing their set pieces and were able to push the ball up the field by creating space for their players.  Zane Mendenhall lead the team with 5 scores.

The big difference in the game was the defensive line for BYU.  For those who aren't familiar with rugby, when the ball goes to ground (tackled), the defense has to line up a few yards away and react to the offensive players.  BYU defenders set up their line very well and were able to tackle in one on one settings.  Army was having to tackle with multiple defenders which created running space for the outside BYU players, and even some of the big boys in the middle of the field.

The bright side for Army was how hard they played.  Even when the score was out of reach, they played quickly and with urgency.  They did not look like a team that was thoroughly beaten.  BYU matched their intensity and were able to continue to score and play well throughout the game.

BYU's next game is an away game at Weber State on March 19 and the next home game is March 29 at 7:00 p.m. at South Field.