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BYU rugby rolls past SLCC, improves to 7-0 on the season

SHARE BYU rugby rolls past SLCC, improves to 7-0 on the season

PROVO — Passionate fans cheered the BYU rugby team (7-0) on Fan Appreciation Day at BYU’s South Field as the Cougars defeated the Salt Lake Community College Bruins 58-10 as BYU started its home schedule on Saturday, March 7.

“Our fans have played a major role in our success today. Their support really motivated us to run hard and make plays,” said BYU rugby head coach David Smyth.

BYU ran hard and made plays as scrum half Joseph Nicholls and flanker Steve Davies led all scorers with two tries each. Davies scored his two tries in the first half punching through SLCC’s defense. Nicholls added 10 points total in the second half in the victory.

SLCC’s forwards were quick and aggressive, racking up several large hits as they worked to win the rucks. The Bruin back line displayed shiftiness and athleticism at times but could not keep up with BYU’s pace and resilient defense.

“The score doesn’t tell the story of the whole game. The Bruins played hard all 80 minutes,” said BYU rugby assistant coach Steve St. Pierre. “We’ve been putting in the work every day at practice. Our boys made the big plays when it mattered most.”

The most dramatic play of the game came in the second half as a breakaway run by flanker Erik Wilcox down the middle of field got the crowd to its feet. Wilcox fought through the front line, then quickly offloaded the ball to No. 8 Hayden Johnson. Johnson caught the ball, quick-stepped the last SLCC defender and then placed the ball down for a try in the 59th minute.

BYU will welcome the Saint Mary’s Gaels at BYU’s South Field at 7 p.m. MDT on Saturday, March 14. The Cougars defeated the Gaels 32-28 on Feb. 28 at Saint Mary’s home field.

Game notes:

Open substitutions were used by both teams.

BYU has won 19 straight games since the 2014 loss to Saint Mary’s at Moraga, California.

Including today’s game, BYU has scored at least 50 or more points in six of its last seven matches.

Scoring summary:

8′ Davies 5

19′ Schofield 5

23′ SLCC 5

26′ Tsukamoto 5

33′ Davies 5, Webber 2

35′ Keith 5, Webber 2

Half-time BYU 29 SLCC 5

46′ Nicholls 5

50′ Nicholls 5, Webber 2

56′ Haddock 5

59′ Johnson 5, Webber 2

66′ SLCC 5

80′ Gigena 5

Final — BYU 58 SLCC 10