BYU Scrapes for Respect Against Denver

Provo, UT—The BYU Cougars returned from a meeting with Super League men’s side Denver Barbarians in Grand Junction, CO Saturday night with some hard fought lessons and a 68-12 loss.
The Cougars fielded a reserve grade side against the Barbarians, who were seeing the field for the first time this season as they prepare for their league schedule. Despite the rust of the Denver side, their experience and size proved too much for BYU.

With Denver fielding no less than 6 current or former USA National Team members, the young BYU team was scraping for possession and had significant trouble at the lineout and scrum, losing the majority of their own set piece possession throughout the game.

When the Cougars did hold their own possession however, they proved a threat to the experienced Denver backline.

In loose play a well worked quick lineout from BYU led to a Cougar counter attacking kick and chase that forced a Denver handling error on their goal line.

A chasing fullback Manti Su’a was on hand to scoop the ball up and dot down for the first half score in the 35th minute.

BYU was able to score again in the second half as strong lineout and subsequent back move saw wing Travis Rodermund kick and chase down his own kick for a try late in the game at the 68th minute. Center Dan Paul would convert and BYU notched its 12th point.

The two BYU scores were the lone duo of attacking highlights in a game filled with defensive efforts against a superior men’s team. Despite the large margin BYU head coach David Smyth was proud of his team.  

“We knew we were up against it today,” he said, “I told the guys to play hard, focus on the basics so that when all was said and done they could be proud of their performance. Obviously there are a lot of lessons to learn from a game like this and I hope our guys are able to look back and see what it is that they can do to get better.”

When asked about players that stood out in the game Smyth was not willing to single anyone out.

“There were a few guys who stepped up today and that has been noted” Smyth said, “We learned a lot about our reserve players in this game and I think there are some guys that will be seeing substantially more playing time in our 1st XV.”

The Cougars next match is against their in-state rival the University of Utah as they look to defend their ownership of the coveted Wasatch Cup. Next week’s match is the Cougars’ first home match at Helaman Field. Kick off is slated for 1pm.

This article is from BYU's website.

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