BYU levels Colorado State, advances in D1A Playoffs

D1A Rugby: BYU levels Colorado State, advances in D1A Playoffs
Photo Credit: Ryan Turner

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – Brigham Young University won its first D1A Rugby Playoff game this past weekend since winning the 2012 D1A National Championship game. The Cougars, who would have been slated to face No. 15 Colorado State in an April 15 Opening Round contest, used their long scheduled April 8 fixture against Ram as a, 93-3, postseason victory.

Playing at Helaman Field in Provo, Utah, BYU sent five different Cougars over the try line in the opening half, including David George and Calvin Whiting, who each scored twice. Add Whiting’s four successful conversions, and the All-American center accounted for 18 of BYU’s 43 first half points.

The Cougars outdid themselves in the second half by adding another 50 points to the scoreboard over the second 40 minutes. Included in the try-scoring barrage was a second score by Connor Perry and another from George, giving the loose forward a hat trick on the afternoon.

The defeat meant the end of the 2016-17 season for a Colorado State team that showed great promise during the fall semester. The team’s 30-26 win over Air Force in October had the Rams in prime position to win the West Conference, but unintentional use of an ineligible player against Colorado cost them valuable points in the West standings, and eventually the conference title. The diminished health of coach Rod Hartley, who is battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, hindered Colorado State’s ability to regain its fall form when the team assembled for the spring semester.

The Cougars, on the other hand, have continued to pick up steam since losing on the road to Saint Mary’s in February. Since then, BYU avenged the loss to the Gaels in Utah and beat Central Washington University twice over a home-and-away series by a combined score of 101-36.

Next up for the Cougars is a trip to Bloomington, Ind., to face seventh-ranked Indiana Saturday, April 15. The Hoosiers received an Opening Round bye after winning the Big Ten Universities Conference in the fall, and have looked strong during a string of recent friendlies to prepare for the D1A Rugby Playoffs. Over the past three weeks, Indiana has produced wins over Rugby East Champions Penn State, University of Notre Dame and D1AA Fall Champions Notre Dame College.