Saturday, April 18, 2009

BYU barely bests Arkansas State, 13-3!

After an obviously grueling test, the BYU Rugby team emerged victorious, beating a brutal Arkansas State side, 13-3! Although the score at the half had BYU down, 0-3, Our boys battled back in the second half to notch two penalty kicks and a try off of a blocked kick.

My camera crew informed me that BYU had a yellow card called on hooker Ra Lawrence early on in the match and later, another yellow called on 8-man and team captain Steve St. Pierre... To add to these woes, Lawrence was then issued a red card shortly after rejoining play. According to our cameraman, Ben Thompson, "BYU was basically playing with 14 guys the whole game."

More thoughts on the match forthcoming in a later post... but for now, congratulations to Our boys for pulling out a tough one! You had all of us fans petrified with anxiety... and rightly so!!!

Wow, what a close game! Amazing... truly amazing. BYU wins again... by a hair!


  1. what do the yellow and red cards mean for the next game? Or hopefully games.

  2. Didn't seem to post the 1st time. I'll try again. What do the yellow & red cards mean for teh next game? Or hopefully games.

  3. According to my brother, a red card means you are out for the next game... so, goodbye Ra. Also, another yellow card for Steve would take him out of the next game.

    Either way you look at it, this is BAD NEWS and the boys are going to get a good talking to by the coaches; that's for sure!

  4. Hooker is automatically out for the next match.

    If BYU isnt the most undisciplined team in the country AT ANY LEVEL I would be shocked. They have zero chance of beating a machine like Cal who plays with utter discipline and does not get tight in big games. I dont care how much talent BYU has. They have probably had like 20 yellow cards this whole season. Its just ridiculous. The worst part? Some of these guys are actually grown men. Get it straight Y!

  5. Almost sounds like someone who's never played rugby before! :) But all joking aside, yes, you are right about the discipline of the team... it's what we've been wanting the coaches and players to tighten up for some time now...

    And believe it or not, they have made progress. Back in my day, the BYU Rugby team was a much more 'rough and tumble' crowd than it is today... and yet, even more improvements need to be made.

    Believe me when I say that the coaches know this; but I think that making the transition and finding the means to do so are the real points of difficulty in the whole equation.

    See my previous post,"A long overdue look back and a timely look ahead: BYU's recent wins and the Sweet 16" for more thoughts.

  6. YESSSS!!!! I was DYING this game!!! SO glad they came back and WON!!! cant wait for cali!

  7. Oh yeah! Where the BYU Rugby Super Fans shall emerge one last time...

  8. oh i will be there in full force superfanness!! ;)

  9. There is no implication for anything in a yellow card. You could have one in every game of the year without incurring an exclusion. As I understand it, the worst case for Ra is that he would be out for the next game (the semifinal against SDSU), but BYU intends to lodge an appeal with USA Rugby. BYU RF's cameramen came to the rescue with excellent footage of the supposed infringement. Right there in living Hi Def you can see the supposed incident. Bad call. We'll see how it turns out.

    BTW, playing without a hooker is a real pain. Steve St. Pierre fulfilled his hooker fantasy and played for most of the game in the front row. Needless to say, we played sub-optimally in the line outs and scrums without Ra.

    Also BTW, this was the best played game I have ever seen, period. BYU was NOT undisciplined. A total of FIVE yellow cards were issued by the whistle happy referees. There wasn't even a hint of a fight, or even a scuffle. The yellows were for the ref's interpretation of repeated infringements in the ruck by both final-four quality teams. What a joke!

    Back to the game. It was truly magnificent. BYU seemed to be playing an image of itself. Fast, well-conditioned, with great ball skills, Arkansas state was like BYU's little brother, right out of the same DNA. I can tell you that championships are won with great defense and both teams played inspired defense. Coach Huckabee allowed as how he never would have believed that any team could have held his team try-less over 80 minutes, but BYU did just that. Our play, with a man down for more than 50 minutes and at least ten of those two men down, was simply amazing. We controlled territory and possession with superb positional kicking by Lubbe and defended our own try line with superb tackling by Lubbe, Davies, Mikey Price, Tupu Folau and Paul Lasike. They swarmed every line break, bringing things to a halt before serious incursions could be made.

    Make no mistake, Arkansas State, which graduates 3 seniors, is a team to be reckoned with in coming years. It's too bad they had to play us, because they deserved to be in the "big four" along with Cal and BYU. I can tell you that the coaches and players have the highest respect for them and their coaches.

    I'll remember this game for the rest of my life.

  10. Amazing comments... thanks for sharing; I am honestly speechless...

    So... would you like to be a guest writer for BYU Rugby Forever? Ha ha, you don't have to answer that, but thanks so much for the 'insider' insights that you provide, laying to rest our feeble suppositions!

  11. The truth of the matter still remains that these performances by BYU rugby need to be put into perspective. BYU have not had a single quality opponent this whole year. The Denver barbarians that they beat only made it to the semifinals in the super league tourney and seriously they are not that great of a team even if they have Eagles on their team cause that really dont mean much in the rugby world cause some of the best Eagles were college players and these college players if they are any good go overseas. As for Utah they have a brand new coach and a team filled with freshmen and sophomores. Utah's showing against LSU is a demonstration of their level of play as they were totally destroyed by LSU. Who in the world is LSU in the world of collegiate rugby? They are nobodies, actually this might be the best their school has ever performed in LSU history but then LSU was killed by SDSU.
    Cal(BYU's curse) on the other hand has continued to put up the points during the playoffs. I dont think that have a score lower than fifty and that is on the safe side. Cal has defeated the Super League champs in NYAC rugby team. Cal may have looked weak against St. Mary's a few weeks ago but remember they rotate their players soo much cause their third string team can give any team in the nation a run for their money.
    Dartmouth and Arkansas State were average teams and the best teams BYU has ever played this year. The scores are a little concerning cause Cal's defense is much more superior to these teams so it is hard to see BYU scoring too many points especially if their only try in the ASU game from a charged kick by a No.8. Then their is the matter of stopping Cal's offense, the mental advantage they have from soo many years of dominance, playing basically in their backyard, and the biases of the referee (cause their will be this during a BYU vs. CAl championship game). For as much as I want BYU to win for the players I cant deny the facts. I was forced to put my own money down on a winner it would be BYU cause the odds and facts just aint there.
    If you think I am in error post reasons why You think BYU has the advantage because I am interested in hearing them. (Forgive any spelling errors or any others cause I am in a hurry but just wanted to leave some thoughts)

  12. I dont know what in the world you are talking about when you say BYU Rugby in the past was a more yellow carded team. when I played we were fairly disciplined and as for your comment that the person who made the comment about BYU's discipline that he hadnt played rugby before it sounds like you never played rugby before with such a comment. As an elite team in collegiate rugby BYU has no excuse for such offenses. As for the red card I believe he is out for the whole tournament if the card is not removed as this is the policy for the playoffs. That is red card and two yellows automatically for a player removes him from the rest of the tourney.

  13. Anonymous said that Dartmouth and Arkansas State are average teams. I am sure he has not seen them play. I saw them play. They are very good teams indeed. We beat Penn State and Central Washington handily. And the Denver Barbarians are a VERY good team, with accomplished athletes and good coaching. Unless you've seen them play, your opinion based on reportage in the media is worthless.

    I don't believe that BYU has the advantage over Cal. It will be an uphill battle. But our boys are tested under adversity and pulled through. I'm sure conditions in the final, if we beat SDSU, will be adverse. We've played the toughest schedule, week in and week out, in the country and are undefeated. I don't know what we could have done more. I'd love to see Arkansas State vs. Cal. That would be a great match.
    I'll be there on May 2. Will you?

    BTW, I've read the USA Rugby disciplinary policy, every word of it. Have you?

  14. I agree, as I think about it in hindsight, that these close and grueling wins against Dartmouth and Ark. State will only be of benefit to BYU in their upcoming matches.

    And I will be there on May 2... and I will now read USA Rugby's policy :) Go BYU!

  15. Cougarblue said that they beat Penn State and Central Washington handily but what have they been able to do this post-season? Basically nothing cause they were'nt strong teams. As for the Barbarians they aren't as strong as you think they are. I haven't watched Arkansas State play but when you have 15 on 13 for the amount of time that they had and then 15 on 14 and you can't score that says it all. Even the Wallabies who have the best defense in the world couldn't stop another elite team with only 13 players unless they were playing against some unknown national team from Asia. As for Dartmouth I think they have a great advantage with their coaching. If you watched any of their games you would have noticed the superiority their backline showed in their backline moves especially when they inserted their fullback in the attack move.The problem is that they played such weak defenses that they alot of times ran into tries untouched. They used the same moves against BYU and first couldnt break but more importantly couldnt recycle the ball.
    As for the Barbarians not only have I seen them play but I have had the privilege of running them over when I played against them. At that time they supposedly had 8 Eagles I ran over 4 Eagles and from what I saw I wasnt impressed with what they did in the games.
    As for the toughest schedule in the country. Not even close. Cal by far has had the toughest schedule. The teams they have played during the season include St. Mary's, B.C. (despite not being as strong a previous but comparatively to U.S college level still a stronger team as evidenced in their win over Cal in Canada after their loss at Cal). and NYAC Super league champs. All these teams are better then all the teams BYU have played.
    As for the card situation the last time a BYU player got a red card in the quarterfinals he was not allowed to play the rest of the tournament. It just so happens to be the same player who got a red card against Arkansas State as for the other players who got yellows against SDSU if they get another they can be disqualified from the Championship game.
    I agree that a team can be tested and get stronger as the season goes on. But remember the hooker is out for the rest of the season unless his red card is appealed and removed and at least two other starters with yellows who are at risk of being disqualified. The other thing is if you have played in competitive tournaments like this it is difficult not to peak to early. I hope BYU hasn't peaked to early by investing all that energy and emotion into the Dartmouth and especially the Arkansas State game. I dont see any worries about SDSU but the game that matters most is the concern just as Cougarblue.

  16. Okay, I think calling the Wallabies the best defensive team in the country is absolutely bloody ridiculous. Looks what its got them ... one world cup that was won without a Springbok team playing it 1991 - 18 years ago! Compare apples with apples - BYU are a good team and this Arkansas State team is a solid team too. The best team won.


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