Cougars sink Midshipman

After defeating Arizona State 80-0 last week, the BYU men's rugby team hosted Navy at South Field on Saturday in what was a physical but heavily lopsided battle. The Cougars dominated from right out of the gate and never let up, defeating the Midshipman 64-12.

The Midshipman definitely passed the eye test, but when it came right down to it, the Cougars were much more than they could handle. After a quick try (the equivalent of a touchdown in football, but only worth five points) followed by a conversion (three point kick), the Cougars never looked back.

"At the beginning of the game we had a couple of good runs," said scrum half Shaun Davies. "Navy is a tough team but we were able to come out, settle down and play our style of game early."

"Navy is probably the most physical team we've played all year," said senior All-American prop Mike "Baby Rhino" Su'a. "It was a good team effort and we had guys running in tries from everywhere."


Mike Su'a (photo by Paul Meyers)

For Su'a, it was an honor to play against Navy, a team that was ranked No. 2 in the East.

"Many of these guys will go on to bigger and better things than playing rugby," Su'a said. "It was a great honor to play against guys that protect our country. It was a great honor to play against Navy."

The Cougars soundly defeated Navy 64-12, holding the Midshipman scoreless in the second half while putting on a show that included power, strategy, speed and finesse. However, Davies said that the Cougars' success on Saturday, and throughout the season, stems from a different kind of team attribute.

"I would say effort, and we work so hard in practice, and you can see it on the field," said Davies regarding how the Cougars are able to achieve success. "We all come out and play as hard as we can for each other. It's because we put in a lot of effort off the field."

With BYU's rugby team being a club team, the players are not on scholarship and come from all walks of life. The willingness to work for their success while paying their own way through school, along with their many cultural backgrounds, have formed a unique bond among the players.

"To be honest, I think it's a mix of all the different cultures," Davies said. "We all get along so well. We all love each other and we all get along. That might sound a bit cheesy, but that's how it is. We train hard together, we work hard together, and so when we play, it comes off beautifully."

Fly half Dylan Lube, a 5-foot-8-inch, 170-pound junior, came to BYU from Durban, South Africa and was influential in bringing Davies to BYU from South Africa.

"There is a guy who used to go to the University of Utah," Davies said. "I went to school with one of his sons back home in South Africa, and his name is Dylan Lubbe. He spoke to me to come out here, and so I did. I love it out here and have never looked back."

Next up, the Cougars will face the winner of the Arkansas vs. Saint Mary's game in the Premier Division I Semifinals at Infinity Park in Glendale, Colorado on May 14. If the Cougars win, they will play for the national championship at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake on May 21.

"If we do what we know we can do, and don't fall short, we'll be there come May 21st at Rio Tinto Stadium," said Su'a.

"We won the national championship in 2009," Davies said. "I think we have the same potential right here if we continue working as hard as we have. I feel we have a good enough team to compete for a national championship."


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