BYU RUGBY PRESS RELEASE
ST. GEORGE — In what proved to be an exciting and hotly contested affair between the BYU Cougars and one of the top men’s teams in the country, Old Puget Sound Beach rallied to edge the Cougars in the waning moments by the score of 34-30.
The thriller was one of many matches being played this weekend in Utah’s Dixie. Utah fell to men’s club powerhouse Glendale, 42-26.
The Cougars, meanwhile, lost for the first time this season. USA Eagles Pate Tuilevuka, Miles Craigwell and Mike Palefau led OPSB, who was able to notch the opening try of the game in the 3rd minute.
But the Cougars rallied and found the end zone in the 13th minute via recently returned missionary and former United high school national champion Dan Hubert to tie the game at 5-5.
BYU pulled ahead with two more tries from fullback Will Taylor and prop David Collins. Both would go unconverted, and BYU led 15-5.
The physically imposing OPSB team struck back just before halftime with a converted try to pull within three, 15-12.
In the second half both teams picked up where they left off by hammering away at each other’s defensive lines. Ultimately, OPSB garnered a well-deserved but unconverted try in the 50th minute.
The Cougars followed with freshman flyhalf Jonny Linehan converting a 25-meter penalty to retake the lead 18-17 in the 55th minute.
BYU’s Collins notched his second try in the 62nd minute, and Linehan converted to pull BYU ahead 25-17.
However, OPSB’s experience showed through in the final quarter as the men from Seattle would mount a heated come back to take the lead in the 71st minute following two tries, one of which was converted to give OPSB a 29-25 advantage.
Not to be outdone the Cougar forwards mounted a series of well-worked phases that led to BYU’s Linnehan squirting through the OPSB defensive line for a try in the 74th minute. The conversion was missed however and BYU led by a single point, 30-29.
As the Cougars held on to the uncomfortable lead, OPSB mounted one final charge against the BYU defense which led to the game-winning try in the 80th minute.
“If you look at the players that OPSB has this game could have gone in one direction really quick,” said BYU head coach David Smyth. “We always want to win, but our guys fought hard, played well and we ended up getting what we wanted out of this game. Our experienced players showed composure like they should and our young players had a chance to step and they did.”
The Cougars now prepare for their next fixture against a top-rated men’s club as they look to take on the Denver Barbarians Saturday, Feb. 23, in Grand Junction, Colo.
MATCH INFORMATION: BYU XV vs. OPSB
- Ray Forrester
- Kody Thompson
- TJ Allred
- Kyle Lontine
- Dan Hubert
- Kyle Sumsion
- Ryan Roundy (c)
- Luke Mocke
- Jonathan Linehan
- Jordan Lowry
- Seki Kofe
- Chris Wernli
- Andrew Carver
- Will Taylor
SCORING: BYU: 30 Tries: Hubert 13′; Taylor 21′; Collins 24′,62′; Linehan 74′ Conversions: Linehan (1/5: 62′) Penalties: Linehan 55′ (1/1)
OPSB: 34 Tries: OPSB (3′,35′,50′,65′,71′,80′) Conversions: 2/6