Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
San Deigo, CA–The BYU Cougars left San Diego tonight with a very hard-fought 41-21 win over the San Diego State Aztecs. With an energetic crowd rallying the home team the Aztecs showed well early and were committed to frustrate the Cougars.
“Give them [SDSU] credit,” BYU head coach David Smyth, “They worked well in their defensive pattern and were very aggressive at the breakdown.”
With SDSU’s defensive pressure the Cougars committed a number of errors early in the match with repeated dropped balls and knock-ons. 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. Forrester would dot down twice to lead all scorers. 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 would battle 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 would carry 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.
The final score was 41-21 in favor of BYU after a physical match by both sides.
“This was a starting point for this group,” Smyth said, “The effort was good. Now it’s just about getting the execution and tactical components.”
BYU takes Friday off before heading to Los Angeles to play UCLA on Saturday at 1pm PT on the North Athletic Field.
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BYU XV vs. SDSU
2. Ray Forrester
6. Scott Gowdy
8.Ryan Roundy (c)
10. Inoke Funaki
14. Jordan Lowry
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′
Tries: SDSU ( 20′, 72′, 75′)
Conversions: SDSU (20′, 72′, 75′)