The BYU Cougars scored their second victory over a Super League team this season by beating the Denver Barbarians 38-25.
The Barbarians started the game with over 15 minutes of possession during the opening 17 minutes of the game, but garnered nothing more than a penalty in the 11th minute.
The opening quarter saw the Cougars weather the Denver attacking barrage led by former All-Americans Maximo DeAcheval, Tommy Pasque and Lelan Hunter.
BYU’s defense was solid in frustrating the Denver attack, at times, for over 15 phases at a time.
The Cougars opening try came after a well-worked set piece move and a number f off-loads between backline players that saw a supporting Dylan Lubbe score in the far corner of the end zone.
A missed conversion gave the Cougars an early 5-0 lead in the 10th minute.
The Barbarians would respond immediately following a BYU penalty with a 38 meter penalty goal by DeAcheval in the 11th minute.
BYU would likewise send a scoring volley back at Denver with BYU captain Ryan Roundy gathering a Denver kick, barging his way 40 meters to set up flanker Kumi Tua’one’s try in the 12th minute.
BYU led 10-3 with two missed conversion attempts.
Denver would again put the Cougars on the defensive but this time the Barbarians found an inside gap and would rumble for a try in the 16th minute making the score 10-10.
More pressure was soaked up by BYU but a Denver turnover 1 meter from BYU’s own goal line gave wing Malosi Te’o an open break.
Te’o would link up with center Paul Lasike who would off-load to the fellow center Seki Kofe who would carry the remaining 40 meters for the 99 meter back-breaking try.
Another try in the 36th minute from fullback Will Taylor after a deft kick from flyhalf Dylan Lubbe gave the Cougars a 24-10 lead at the half time break.
“We didn’t have a lot of possession in the first half,” said BYU head coach David Smyth, “But when we did we did some good things with it. Our defense was outstanding in that first half.”
The second half saw a resurgent Denver claw back into the game with a try in the 43rd minute.
BYU’s Kofe would get his second try of the game in the 61st minute after BYU and Denver would exchange possession and territory for a lengthy period.
BYU led 31-15.
The Cougars went down a man in the 62nd minute as Lubbe was yellow carded and sent to the sin bin.
During the flyhalf’s binning the Barbarians mustered a comeback with two quick tries in the 68th and 71st minutes bringing the men’s club within striking distance at a 31-25 score line.
BYU reset their focus as Lubbe returned to the game and the Cougars scored a late try after defensive pressure by the Cougars let Lasike put the game away in the 78th minute.
“This was a great run for our guys,” Smyth said, “They defended well and put some great attacking rugby together. We’ll be able to build off of this as we head into conference play this weekend.”
After a 6-0 pre-season, that included two wins against two different Super League teams, the Cougars next head to Phoenix, AZ to square off with Arizona State University to open the defense of BYU’s 2011 Western Conference championship.
BYU beat the Sun Devils on South Field last year by the score of 80-0. The Sun Devils finished 2011 in 3rd place behind the University of Utah with a 5-2 record in the CPD’s Western Conference.
Kick-off for the Cougars and Sun Devils is set for Saturday, March 3rd at 3pm local time. Due to field irrigation maintenance the BYU vs. ASU matchup has been moved to Mountain Point High School in Chandler, AZ.
For more details as the Cougars start their defense of the 2011 Western Conference title stay tuned to BYU’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.
BYU 1st XV vs. Denver Barbarians:
1. Mikey Su’a
2. Ishmael Tilialo
3. Ray Forrester
4. TJ Allred
5. Mark Bonham
6. Kumi Tua’one
7. Hynie Leaatoa
8. Ryan Roundy ©
9. Adam Kuchin
10. Dylan Lubbe
11. Malosi Te’o
12. Seki Kofe
13. Paul lasike
14. Austin Allred
15. Will Taylor
Tries: Lubbe 10’; Tua’one 12’; Kofe 23’, 61’; Taylor 36’; Lasike 78’
Conversions: Lasike 4/6 (23’, 36’, 61’, 78’)
Tries: Denver 16’, 43’, 68’, 71’
Conversions: 1 / 4 (16’)
Penalties: 1/1 (11’)
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