Cougar Snapshots: Varsity Cup

The Cougars beat Cal 43-33 to win their third straight Varsity Cup National Rugby Collegiate Championship at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Cougars have cemented themselves as the preeminent program in college rugby. photographer Troy Verde was there to capture the action it all its glory.

BYU Rugby Head Coach David Smyth and his staff have built a powerhouse in Provo Utah; the destructive output the size of a full-blown category five hurricane that's absolutely running over the competition. The Cougars got it done with outstanding passing, physical defense, and tough running against the defense of the Cal Golden Bears on Saturday afternoon in the Varsity Cup Collegiate National Championship.

BYU rugby center and football running back Paul Lasike had a monster game to help his teammates win their third straight national title. Here he picks up a loose ball to try and advance it forward.

Here Lasike runs over two Cal defenders. Lasike has applied a lot of his football techniques to rugby, hitting defenders with his shoulders and knees instead of just straight arms much like he did in the semi-finals when he ran over Navy defenders on his way to big scores.

Here Lasike reaches the end zone for a try (A try is the equivalent to a touchdown in football) against Cal. Lasike scored the first try in the first four minutes of the game. BYU football fans are hoping he'll be doing the same thing against opponents during the upcoming football season as well.

One of the faster players on the team, Chris Wernli plays the wing position on the outside and was a force on the team last year in BYU's national championship victory over Cal during the 2013 season. Here he is scoring his first try of the game.

The Cougars bring out the heavy hitters. Here lock/flanker and team captain Kyle Sumsion is a force in the middle and not only a powerful runner but a powerful and physical defender as well.

Here a Cal Bear is on the receiving end of a perfect form tackle from Kyle Sumsion.

The hero of last year's remarkable victory over Cal, Johnny Linehan had another outstanding game against Cal. Linehan plays the fly half while Luke Mocke play the half scrum. Both positions are responsible for deciding where the ball goes much like a quarterback in football. Linehan had four passing assists that led to four tries against Cal.

Luke Mocke takes the ball and advances it forward. The chemistry between the fly half, played by Johnny Linehan, and the half scrum, played by Luke Mocke, is very important when it comes to interior passing to find a weakness in an opponent's defense. Linehan and Mocke are rapidly becoming two of the best in collegiate rugby.

Here Mocke elects to keep the ball rather than pass it outside to advance the ball. Mocke, who is originally from South Africa, grew up playing half scrum most of his life and is not only a very dangerous passer but a speedy runner as well.

Mocke blows past the Cal defense on his way to the end zone.

Mocke scored his try in the opening of the second half for the Cougars.

A rising star is sophomore center/fullback Joshua Whippy from the islands of Fiji. BYU has both Joshua and his twin brother Jared, who are becoming major contributors on the team. Here Joshua Whippy, who is a tough runner, runs over a Cal defender. Whippy scored BYU's two tries during the game, with assists coming from Johnny Linehan, to seal the BYU victory

Let the celebration begin. The Cougars won their third straight national championship 43-33 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Here the boys gather for a group photo with their third straight national championship trophy.

Here is an up close look of BYU's national championship trophy. The Cougars won in front of 10,172 fans who came out to support their BYU Cougars.

As one of the biggest contributors on the team, both as a runner and defender, Paul Lasike holds up third national championship trophy. His career at BYU has helped turned BYU in to one of the top national collegiate rugby programs in the nation.

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