Monday, May 4, 2009


To everyone within the sound of my voice (which is actually nonexistent after yelling my head off this weekend!), it is with great pleasure that I announce that Our boys, Our team, Our BYU Men's Rugby team has defied all odds and won their first-ever, National Championship!!! Final score, BYU 25, Cal Berkeley 22!!! MIRACULOUS!!! (Photo by Laura Vincent)

BYU Rugby Team Captain Steve St. Pierre and #1 Fan Scot Clark with the coveted trophy Words cannot adequately express the emotion, the tension, and the anxiety felt during the game, nor the exhilaration, ecstasy, and sheer joy experienced by all BYU fans, present and abroad, when the referee blew the final whistle...

And to be perfectly honest, folks, the fact of the marvelous win still has not fully sunken into my spinning head! Yes, I was there... but I'm still in shock. Since last July, I have been writing on this blog with the faith that BYU would win a National Championship... but who knew for sure that it would come this year!!!

I know, I know... You're wondering how it is that the unofficial #1 BYU Rugby Fan had any doubts. Well, let me assure you that I share what I know. I say it how I see it... and if something doesn't look good, then who am I to falsely say otherwise? The fact is that Cal, the dynasty (or dinosaur, whichever you prefer), has ALWAYS been so dominant that no one, including myself, has ever been able to say with 100% confidence, "Today we will beat Cal!" So, no false hope here, just faith based on the facts as I see them...

Ironically though, I think many of us fans had more faith than in previous years... I mean, seeing BYU down at halftime isn't usually a time for high fives all around; rather, the fact that BYU had advanced in the face of similarly tough competition earlier in the tournament actually gave many of us BYU faithfuls a healthy dose of confidence... after all, it isn't every day you see Cal try-less at the end of the first half!!! To the unknowing spectator, a halftime deficit doesn't look too promising... but when that deficit is only 5 points against Cal (12-7 at the break)... well, let's just say that you have plenty of reasons to be fired up!!!

And also don't forget (the stats don't lie) that BYU has tended to be a "second-half team" this season, more often breaking their opponents' spirits in the final 20 to 30 minutes, notching points, and turning up the defense to seal the victory. Against more solid competition in this year's championship matches, BYU wasn't any different... it's just that they didn't score as many points, and they had to dig deeper than usual to bury the opposition!

Either way you cut it, my attempts to justify BYU's win are still only feeble at best... and though I could continue to rant and rave (as you know I will later!), I'll pause for now, let the emotions cool a bit, and give all of you BYU fans a chance to read up on the game, to hear all the other views and perspectives on Our boys' miraculous comeback win. The BYU Rugby team has done more than their part, and their work is done for now... but for some of us, it's only just begun! BYU Rugby Forever!!!

Read away, my fellow BYU Rugby fans:

"Bears Defeated by BYU in Final, 25-22"
"BYU Knocks off Cal, Wins First National Title"
"BYU scales the mountaintop"
"BYU rugby wins first national championship"
"National champions"
"Y. rugby club claims national title"
"Cal men fall to BYU in championship game"
"BYU stuns Cal to end five-year reign in rugby"
"Quest for Sixth Straight Title Falls at Foot of Davies, BYU"

BYU Rugby's Scrumhalf Shaun Davies: Title Match MVP(Photo courtesy of David Herschorn - The Daily Californian)


  1. couldn't have said it better myself Scot. it's great to have people that understand what this really means for so many people. thanks for covering and reporting. go cougs.

  2. Congrats to the dirtiest team in the country. Thorley bit, I REPEAT BIT, a chunk our of Colin Hawley and that wasnt even what he was carded for. Low lifes most of them. Step on the field and play with dignity and respect. In my humble opinion this is an big * for byu. All the cards were deserved if not for what they were specifically carded for then other infringements. Thats okay. Coach Smyth advocates dirty play. In Smyth's voice "it is what it is. got o plaaay with a lil mongrel. it is what it is" Congrats. Hope it feels good. It is very consistent with the ideals of the Y apparently.

    If you dont believe it ASK them. See if their eyes can convince you. I would have loved it if BYU could have won with dignity but they seem incapable. It was also great when one of the coaches turned around and gave a double middle finger to the cal crowd. NICE!

  3. You can ASK me as a former player for the last three years (05-08) and I will tell you that never ONCE has any coach on staff advocated dirty play. Playing hard and playing dirty are very different.

  4. Thanks Carl; what a great day for all the old boys, eh?

    And as for our friend Jake, hmmm... you sound quite bitter. I was there pestering the Cal crowd quite audibly as well (can I at least get an honorable mention??? :)

    As for the yellow cards, one was blatant; we all know Sam to be quite the impassioned player at times! I know how that goes, because I have felt and acted similarly in the past... it's not something to be proud of, and it's hard to suppress those poignant feelings in the moment.

    But luckily for me, you, and all the rugby community, I have been relegated to the bleachers... so no biting coming from here anymore! (tempted though I was that night... :)

    And I must say, Jake, I am surprised that you viewed BYU's level of play as being so low and dirty... I personally was under the impression that the Cal crowd was so quiet during the game because of the obvious and blatant bias demonstrated by the referee...

    Honestly, I feel embarrassed for the Cal fans... here you have the UNDISPUTED college rugby throne, and the referee is reduced to coddling you at the first sign of real competition??? Are you and all the Cal fans honestly going to play the penalty card, the BYU-players-are-so-undisciplined-they-can't-legitimately-beat-us card???

    Seriously, ask anyone, ask the Cal players, coaches, anyone... even if HALF of the penalties were completely legitimate, the other half baffled everyone there! The whole crowd was dumbfounded!

    Am I just crazy or am I the only one who noticed that even the Cal crowd didn't cheer over these wimpy, unfounded calls??? No one knew where the heck they came from!

    I just wanted to see some RUGBY, and instead I see a ref (with a history of dislike for BYU) catering to Cal... why? WHO KNOWS??? I sure don't... and if I were a Cal fan, I would be rather disgruntled over the fact. Who really wants a NATIONAL TITLE handout???

    And look at the words from the players on both sides; both teams' captains, for example, can be quoted as saying something to the effect of , "We played our hearts out, hit some snags along the way amidst tough competition, and just tried to play our best to the end."

    Now, you can pooh-pooh the actions of Thorley, of the other players, or of whichever coach you speak... but just remember that you are making some pretty bold assumptions!

    And, know that I could share a tidbit about the behavior of your beloved Jack Clark at the same match, but really... Do I need to prove that your legendary head coach is no more able to control his temper than a twenty-some year old?

    I don't think so... I don't think we need to even bother with all of this frivolous talk, quibbling over issues that actually FAVORED Cal!

    The fact is that BYU stood up to Cal, met them head to head like never before, and emerged on top in the face of great adversity. It was miraculous! It was amazing! They did it with countless penalties offering Cal a substantial advantage throughout most of the game! Against all odds, BYU's trial by fire did not end in complete destruction; rather, it yielded a glorious phoenix in the form of the program's first-ever, National Title!

    So, yes Jake, let's congratulate BYU on an amazing win! Yes, it feels good, and yes it feels deserved... to say anything else would paint me as some "low life", just out for Cal blood (but of course, I'm not on the team... I'm just a crazy fan, not necessarily representative of all BYU fans out there :)

    Say what you will... we hear you Cal bitter, but our excitement is not diminished in the least (especially after so many years of fighting for Our chance!) Now, as was inevitable anyway, you get a taste...

  5. Yes... but didnt Thorley BITE colin hawley?? haha. just keep on denying reality. Good job!!! 26year old men with wives and children "stood up" to the big bad college kids. Your wives must be proud. In a couple years you can sit them down and tell them about the day you bit a kid 4 years younger than you in order to win a national championship!!!

  6. Is there a youtube video or anything posted for the game on another website?

  7. Michael,

    The only thing that I know of at this point is a short interview with Head Coach David Smyth, Prop Mike Price, and Flyhalf Dylan Lubbe that was featured on 2News KUTV, Sunday night.

    Check the "Sports" tab of their media player:

  8. Jake,

    Your obsession with Sam Thorley is rather odd; after all, his actions got him and the team penalized... How does a penalty against your team help you win a National Championship???

    And as equally juvenile of me as this might be, allow me to satisfy some of your apparently insatiable appetite to spout off nonsense. You'll be pleased to know that about a THIRD of the team that beat Cal was actually under 20 years old... including those 2 "old men" that each knocked down a penalty kick for the win. Oh, and no wives yet for those boys...

    But since I am almost 26, I suppose I now qualify as old. So here's a piece of advice from an old man: come back when you have something to say of some worth to someone, anyone; then you might actually be heard instead of invoking the wrath...

  9. Wow! What a game! I wish I could have been there. I played rugby for BYU last year, but had to call it quits on several accounts...getting married, dental school interviews, and just the fact that I weigh 150lbs with wet clothes on. I would have loved to be there to see Coach Smyth smile. I heard he even cried--I'm sure his son is proud of him. It's a big moment for BYU rugby.

    Jake, get a life. Why don't you follow your teams example? Quit babying and why don't you offer a sincere "congrats and well done" like Cal did the night they lost. I was very impressed with their dignity. I'm not impressed with yours.

    Michael, are you going to include highlights from stanford in your DVD? How long will the DVD be?

  10. Michael's doing a DVD too??? News to me...

  11. Jake is a crying little baby. what are you 12? How does Sam biting anyone help anything for BYU? That got him carded and his team at a disadvantage. He didn't bite someone to win the title, he bit someone to make it harder to win the title. I would love to see the median age of both teams to put that asinine argument to rest too. There's always people like you Jake for every championship ever won by any team. Can never admit that you just lost. And hey, I'm a San Jose Sharks fan. We have a playoff curse. We suck in the playoffs. Don't hear me saying everyone was out to get us or played dirty or stupid crap like that.

  12. So I talked to the player that bit about the biting incident... (contrary to some comments, that was not why he was yellow carded...) The tackler was not allowing him to place the ball nor rolling away. So when he went to place it the fellow kept him from doing so... I would have done the same thing... Some Americans that play rugby are too sheepish... I especially hate it when a ref pings you for racking a player that isn't rolling away... Lazy buggers...

  13. Lazy? How about plain stupid! I'm always amazed when I see someone at the bottom of ruck attempting to curl up in a ball and protect their head... Who taught them to do that? Half the time, they get raked inadvertently anyway.

    And then the ref is usually screaming at them to "roll away" also... hmmm...

  14. BYU Rugby Forever,

    It's usually the ball carrier who is curled up covering their head and nads, as they should, and which is taught as a rugby basic. Now, other would be poachers/protectors who end up leaving their feet in one way or another and end up at the bottom of the pile should roll away or feel the cleat.

  15. True, my anonymous friend, true... but what of the counter-ruck? If it goes the other way, then you are toast! Either way you fall, there is potential for you to become an obstruction, offense or defense.

  16. Congrats to the BYU Cougars, Rugby National Champs!!!

    Honestly, we were so close in 2006, losing to Cal by only 3 points, that this seems almost long overdue. What a great team we had this year!

    And to think, Cal actually gives SCHOLARSHIPS to their players, and we STILL managed to beat them!

  17. Sorry, I guess Michael isn't doing the video. Those questions were for the "Rugby Forever" host guy. I'd really like a video of this year's action, but I want to know if it will include the playoffs and how long it will be.

  18. You can order a copy by clicking the "Donate" button above in the sidebar. It will definitely include all of BYU's playoff action, but we are not yet sure how long it will be...

    Let's just say, what with the win in the final, that you can count on AT LEAST 40 minutes. More details coming soon.

  19. when will the DVD be finished and ready to buy?

  20. The DVD will be finished by early June. My camera crew and I will provide an official release date within a week or two.


  22. I wish it were possible... but to my knowledge, BYU Rugby balls aren't for sale.

    You can go to and find the coaches' contact info to ask them directly; maybe they do sell rugby balls, and I'm just not aware of the fact.


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