The BYU Cougars rode a 25-14 half time lead to score four second half tries and win against the Gaels of St. Mary’s by the score of 53-17.
The second half also saw an improved defensive effort from the Cougars and hold the Gaels tryless.
BYU started the game well forcing a St. Mary’s penalty in the 1st minute. The shot at goal was wide however, but BYU stayed on point and kept the pressure on.
The mounting pressure eventually led to flanker Kumi Tua’one charging across the tryline for the opening score in the 6th minute.
With the windy conditions scrum half Shaun Davies was unable to convert the wide-angled try and BYU would lead 5-0.
For the next 15 minutes however BYU errors and St. Mary’s execution kept the Cougars inside their own 22 meter line.
The Gaels would eventually find pay-dirt and garner a well-deserved try. The conversion was successful and St. Mary’s took an early lead 7-5 in the 19th minute.
The BYU Cougars answered quickly however and a wide pass after a St. Mary’s turn over would offer wing Will Taylor the first of his two tries in the 22nd minute.
Another quick score from BYU came in the 25th minute after an errant St. Mary’s kick offered Davies the counter attack opportunity.
Davies dummied a pair of Gael defenders and made a short pass to fullback Tua Leai who carried the remaining 40 meters for the score.
Davies would go 1 of 2 on the conversions and BYU surged ahead 17-7.
More pressure offered flyhalf Dylan Lubbe the chance to get on the board and push BYU’s lead to 22-7 in the 28th minute.
St. Mary’s however used the wind well kicking to the corner and pinning the Cougars back again inside their 22 meter line.
A missed tackle by BYU in the midfield offered the Gaels the momentum that they needed to eventually score a converted try in the 33rd minute.
Davies would close out the half with two shots at goal, one of which crossed the uprights successfully.
BYU led 25-14 at the break.
“We wanted to start the game fast,” said BYU captain Ryan Roundy, “Which I think we did. We had some pressure which we weathered well, but all in all we had a good start and then we fixed a few things at half time and closed out the game well I thought.”
The Cougars closed the game with four more tries via Leai, Taylor, hooker Ishmael Tilialo and replacement prop Joey Mount.
But more importantly the Cougars held the potent St. Mary’s attack in check and to only one penalty goal in the 52nd minute.
“We knew coming in that our defensive effort had to be good,” said prop Ray Forrester, “St. Mary’s really put us under pressure but we did a better job in the second half and that was good to see.”
BYU head coach David Smyth said his team played a great game.
“I’m very proud of the boys,” Smyth said, “They played their hearts out against a very good team. We have a lot of respect for St. Mary’s and their program and we’re very glad to have come out with the win.”
The non-conference win puts BYU 9-0 on the year with two heady Western Conference tilts on tap next week against Colorado State and Wyoming on March 22nd and 24th respectively.
For more details and information on the BYU Rugby team follow the team on Facebook and Twitter.
BYU 1st XV vs. St. Mary’s College
Ishmael Tilialo (Joey Mount @ 70′)
Ray Forrester (Chad Harker @ 70′)
TJ Allred (Mark Bonham @ 70′)
Kumi Tua’one (Viliami Vimahi @ 53′)
Ryan Roundy (c)
Shaun Davies (Adam Kuchin @ 78′)
Malosi Te’o (Austin Allred @ 70′)
Seki Kofe (Jeff Ott @ 64′)
Tua Leai (Jordan Lowry @70′)
Tries: Tua’one 6′; Taylor 22′, 69′; Leai 25′, 46′; Lubbe 28′; Tilialo 72′; Mount 78′
Conversions: Davies 5/8 (25′, 46′, 69′, 72′, 78′)
Penalties: Davies 1/3 (37′)
Tries: SMC 19′, 33′
Conversions: SMC 2/2 (19′, 33′)
Penalties: SMC 1/1 (52′)
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