For their fourth match of the season on Friday, Sept. 31, the University of Colorado men’s club rugby team lost 41-5 against the #4 ranked BYU Cougars. Despite the disheartening loss, Colorado’s standing remains at 3-1 with a significant points margin in their favor.
The Colorado rugby team has recently seen a lot of success. In 2020, the team ranked in the top 20. Last year, they made it to the conference semifinals, before losing to BYU. In the first three games of the 2022 season, Colorado proved themselves to be a standout team, combining for a total score of 171-8. Eighty of those points came last week from a shutout win against the University of Wyoming, with the rest coming from previous wins against Kansas and Utah State.
For the entire eighty-minute game, Colorado only got into BYU’s goal area once, resulting in the dismal score of five. In rugby, a team gets five points when they get the ball into the other team’s goal area, which is called a try, comparable to the end zone in football. After a team scores those five points, they have the opportunity to take a conversion for two points, similar to an extra point kick though taken from an angle.
Colorado struggled all night against BYU’s defense, scoring only one try and missing their conversion. On the other hand, BYU’s offense dominated Colorado, scoring seven tries and three conversions. BYU’s offense kept constant pressure on Colorado’s defense, while also putting in long offensive runs throughout the game.
As shown by their previous success this season, Colorado has a quality rugby team, but they were no match for BYU’s quick and strong team. In the first half, BYU kept control of the ball for most of the time, scoring five times along the way, including one from an out-of-bounds pass. Colorado left wing Kyle Scott made a few big runs early on, but BYU took those chances away, stripping the ball away from him on multiple occasions. BYU kept the ball on Colorado’s side of the field for most of the opening half, giving the team few opportunities to gain an advantage. BYU dominated Colorado on both sides of the ball, leading 31-0 at the half.
In the second half, however, the Colorado sideline gained a surge of energy, constantly cheering on and motivating their teammates. Colorado maintained possession for the first fourteen minutes of the second half. With many slow and short runs, they got the ball across the goal line for their only score of the night. Colorado played much better defense as the game went on, holding BYU to only ten points with much less possession time.
However, although Colorado stepped up and matched the competition level in the second half, BYU had already built too much of lead to even out the game. Thus, despite three blowout victories to start the year, the Colorado men’s rugby team proved no match for the top-ranked BYU Cougars, resulting in CU’s first loss of the season.
Colorado will look to bounce back for their next home game on Saturday, Oct. 8, against Grand Canyon University.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Eli Gregorski at firstname.lastname@example.org.