BYU rugby welcomes No.1 Saint Mary’s to Provo on Saturday looking to beat the team who handed them its only loss of the season. The Cougars look forward to the rematch but know how tough getting a win against the top-ranked Gaels will be.
“Some of the things I saw last weekend makes me a lot more confident going into Saturday,” BYU head coach David Smyth said. “We’re looking forward to the challenge and the chance for our boys to step up and show us what they have.”
Saturday’s game involves two of the top three teams in the country, according to RugbyMag.com. The two teams last met on Feb. 15 at the home of Saint Mary’s in Moraga, Calif. The Cougars, who were No.1 at the time, held a 24-20 lead in the game’s second half, but Saint Mary’s scored the final 10 points of the game in the come-from-behind victory.
“As a team we really took the loss personally and have been working hard in preparation for this week’s rematch,” BYU captain Kyle Sumsion said. “In order for us to have a different outcome, we need to be a lot more physical and minimize our mistakes.”
BYU is coming off a big 101-13 win in its home opener against the Glendale Raptors. The Cougars know they’ll need to capitalize on the momentum gained from that win if they want to come out on top against one of the best rugby teams in the nation. They also know how big of a difference playing at home can make.
“I’m excited to play [Saint Mary’s] on our home field,” BYU captain Jonathan Linehan said. “Being able to play in front of our fans makes a huge difference.”
The game will begin at 1 p.m. MST and will be played on South Field in Provo. Admittance is $8 for adults and $5 for students. Those who aren’t able to attend the game can watch live via BYU rugby’s YouTube channel or follow the game on Twitter.
Kelby Jones is a student at BYU studying public relations and currently writes for BYU Rugby.