BYU rugby opens 2013 season with two wins at SDSU and UCLA


LOS ANGELES — Last season’s national champions are off to a good start in their 2013 campaign as BYU picked up two wins in Southern California over the weekend.

The Cougars knocked off San Diego State 41-21 on Friday before smashing UCLA 84-14 on Saturday.

BYU is slated to take on instate foe Snow College in Ephraim this Saturday, but snow may force the game to be postponed or cancelled.

With an energetic crowd rallying the home team the Aztecs showed well early and were committed to frustrate the Cougars.

With SDSU’s defensive pressure the Cougars committed a number of errors early in the match with repeated dropped balls and knock-ons.

“Give them (SDSU) credit,” BYU head coach David Smyth. “They worked well in their defensive pattern and were very aggressive at the breakdown.”

It wasn’t until the 14th minute that BYU prop kicked a loose SDSU ball to fall on it for the opening try of the match.

On the back of Forrester’s try and an early fullback Scott Blaser penalty BYU was ahead 10-0 in the opening quarter of the game.

But SDSU battled back and build pressure deep in the BYU half. After repeated Aztecs forays the BYU defensive line would eventually break following an SDSU quick tap.

SDSU edged the match close with the conversion 10-7 in the 21st minute.

BYU freshman scrum half Luke Mocke and All-American center Seki Kofe would carry the Cougars with two tries to pull the Cougars ahead 24-7 by the 50th minute.

Repeated BYU attacks continued to be let down given errors and SDSU pressure. But BYU captain Ryan Roundy and flanker Kyle Sumsion carried their team for two more tries to pull BYU ahead 36-7 by the 70th minute.

With a number of late BYU substitutions BYU’s defensive pattern proved porous and SDSU would notch two late tries before Forrester found the end zone for his second try in stoppage time.

“This was a starting point for this group,” Smyth said after the game. “The effort was good. Now it’s just about getting the execution and tactical components.”

Saturday’s game was easier as BYU notched eight tries in the first half against UCLA before the backup Cougars scored another six tries to UCLA’s lone try in the 55th minute.

The match’s highlight came in the final moments of the first half: Following a UCLA turnover inside the BYU 22-meter line a deft set of hands from freshman scrum half Luke Mocke put the ball to sophomore prop Kody Thompson. He ran 20 meters before passing to a supporting senior prop Ray Forrester who then raced 60-plus meters down the sideline, while fending a late would-be UCLA defender near the goal line.

“We improved,” Smyth said. “We wanted to see some better continuity and ball security today after Thursday night’s game and I think we did that. We still have some ways to go, but the boys are working hard to improve and it showed today.”

1. Dave Collins
2. Ray Forrester
3. Kody Thompson
4. TJ Allred
5. Kyle Lontine
6. Scott Gowdy
7. Kyle Sumsion
8. Ryan Roundy (c)
9. Luke Mocke

  1. Inoke Funaki
  2. Will Taylor
  3. Seki Kofe
  4. Chris Wernli
  5. Jordan Lowry
  6. Scott Blaser
    *Open Substitutions

BYU: 41
Tries: Forrester (14′, 80′), Mocke (35′), Kofe (50′), Roundy (64′), Sumsion (70′)
Conversions: Linehan (14′, 35′, 64′, 70′)
Penalties: 6′ (Blaser–1/1)
Yellow Cards: Kofe 55′, Latu 72′
SDSU: 21
Tries: SDSU ( 20′, 72′, 75′)
Conversions: SDSU (20′, 72′, 75′)
Penalties: 0/1

BYU 84, UCLA 14

  1. Dave Collins
  2. Ray Forrester
  3. Kody Thompson
  4. TJ Allred
  5. Kyle Lontine
  6. Jeff Ott
  7. Kyle Sumsion
  8. Ryan Roundy (c)
  9. Luke Mocke
  10. Jonathan Linehan
  11. Will Taylor
  12. Seki Kofe
  13. Chris Wernli
  14. Andrew Carver
  15. Scott Blaser

*Open Substitutions

BYU: 84
Tries: Ott 6′; Forrester 12′, 40′; Linehan 15′, 31′; Roundy 28′, 71′; Kofe 32′; Thompson 35′; Wernli 49′, 64′; Collins 58′; Hubert 71′; Jones 78′
Conversions: Linehan (6/12); Jones 1/2
UCLA: 14
Tries: UCLA ( 21′, 55′)
Conversions: UCLA (21′, 55′)