Arizona State

BYU Tramples ASU in Varsity Cup Opener

BYU Tramples ASU in Varsity Cup Opener

by Brett Anker
Photo Credit: AWride Photography

BYU started its quest for a fourth consecutive Penn Mutual Varsity Cup championship with a blistering 113-8 victory over Arizona State. The shear size, strength and speed overwhelmed the Sun Devils on Saturday night.

The Cougars jumped out of the gate quickly and tallied 61 points by halftime. Kevin Schofield scored three first half tries and added a fourth in the second half. Hooker Alex Vorster added two more tries in the first half in a game that quickly became a rout.

“Our boys played really well. We were firing on all cylinders,” said BYU assistant coach Wayne Tarawhiti. ”We were able to piece some stuff together in both our forwards and backs and were exceptional on the night.”

Jackson Kaka earned himself a pair of scores in the second half, including the try that put the Cougars over the century mark. In total 11 different Cougars found the try zone.

Despite giving up over one hundred points, the Sun Devils continued to play until the final whistle. Gary Lane’s side has showed tremendous effort all season and the young squad will be stronger come next year’s competition.

“It was a tough game for Arizona State,” added Tarawhiti. “But I will say this, the boys played right until the very end regardless of the score.”

BYU will travel to Hanover to take on Dartmouth in the quarterfinals of the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup.

2016 Opening Round Match Schedule | April 9th

2016 Opening Round Match Schedule | April 9th


Army vs. Oklahoma

Location: Anderson Rugby Complex, River Rd., West Point, NY 10996
Time: 3:00 PM EDT
Webcast: Army “Knight Vision” (http://goarmywestpoint.com/watch)

Arizona State vs. BYU

Location: ASU Poly Campus, 7001 E. Williams Field Rd., Mesa, AZ 85212
Time: 7:00 PM MST

Arkansas State vs. Clemson

Location: ASU Rugby Pitch, 501 Red Wolf Trail Rd., Jonesboro, AR 72401
Time: 1:30 PM CDT

Cal vs. Texas

Location: Witter Rugby Field, 210 Stadium Rim Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
Time: 12:00 PM PDT


Location: CWU Wildcat Rugby Field, Ellensburg, WA 98926
Time: 1:00 PM PDT
Webcast: Wildcat “Event Zone” (www.wildcatsports.com)

Dartmouth vs. Penn State

Location: Corey Ford Rugby Clubhouse, 9 Reservoir Rd., Hanover, NH 03755
Time: 12:00 PM EDT
Webcast: Live on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EIwkyCQ3AI)

Navy vs. Notre Dame

Location: Naval Academy Brigade Sports Complex, 64 Greenbury Point Rd., Annapolis, MD 21402
Time: 12:00 PM EDT
Webcast: TBD

Utah vs. Air Force

Location: McCarthy Field, 76 S. Wasatch Dr., Salt Lake City, UT 84112
Time: 12:00 PM MDT
Webcast: KUTE Radio (http://www.kaltura.com/tiny/h06yz)

Arizona State vs. BYU | 2016 Opening Round Preview

Arizona State vs. BYU | 2016 Opening Round Preview

Photo Credit: Trev Mozingo

BYU’s road to a fourth consecutive Penn Mutual Varsity Cup championship goes through the desert. The Cougars will travel to Arizona State in the opening round of play this weekend.

David Smyth’s team comes in with a blistering 19-0 record this season and an unbeaten streak that extends back to February of 2014. The Cougars beat St. Mary’s twice, Central Washington, Army and Air Force this season and are gearing up for another title run.

Despite losing Johnny Linehan to football commitments and losing several players to graduation, BYU has not missed a beat. In the back line, Calvin Whiting and Kevin Schoefield have been try scoring machines while Zane Mendenhall and Joe Pikula lead a talented BYU pack.

“Many players stepped up to the challenge this season and we will need them to do it again against ASU,” said BYU rugby head coach David Smyth of BYU’s undefeated record. “We were able to develop more players this year and those who received those opportunities played well.”

Arizona State knows they are up against a juggernaut but will attempt to do what nobody has done in over two years, beat the Cougars.

“I think they are a better team than they have been,” ASU coach Gary Lane said of BYU. “I have watched a lot of tape and they are clinical and just relentless.”

It will take an inspiring performance from the Sun Devils to give BYU a run for its money. Slowing down the potent BYU attack requires activity at the ruck and keeping the ball out of the enemy’s hands.

“I definitely think we need to contest at the breakdown and we have got to keep possession when we have it,” Lane added.

ASU has been playing well of late and coach Lane is hoping to carry that momentum into the match. A very young side, the spring has been a valuable earning curb for them.

“The guys have worked very hard. I absolutely trilled with the work ethic of this team. They are a very good, close knit group of men that just work very very hard and have achieved good things by pure hard work,” Lane concluded.

Round 1 Recap: Central Washington Wins Big Against Arizona State

Round 1 Recap: Central Washington Wins Big Against Arizona State

Central Washington soundly defeated Arizona State to the tune of a 72-10 victory in the first round of the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup. Minus a 10-minute lapse in the first half, the Wildcats dominated the game.

The Wildcats blitzed the Sun Devils early, scoring three tries in the first 10 minutes. Corbin Lindell opened the scoring and Ian Wright doubled the lead, before Gavin Schag dotted one down under the posts for a 17-0 advantage.

“The stakes are high and its win or go home,” said CWU coach Tony Pacheco. “We handled the nerves well, and scoring three quick tries will always help calm a team down.”

Arizona State responded nicely scoring two tries minutes apart to cut the lead to 17-10. For the Sun Devils, however, it would be the only points they would muster all afternoon.

“I think we kind of took our foot off the gas pedal a little bit, but then we kind of bounced back,” said Pacheco.

Central Washington got back on the front foot thanks to Captain Aladdin Schirmer extending the lead to 24-10. Right before halftime, Scott Dean broke a 75-meter run to the try zone, hampering any chance of an ASU comeback.

“I think it was a really a back breaker in the match for them,” Pacheco indicated.

The second half was all Wildcats as they added five more tries including a second for Dean and Wright. In total, Central Washington scored 55 unanswered points to cruise to victory. Pacheco praised the play of Schirmer at the back of the scum and his flyhalf Dean for orchestrating a potent Wildcat offense.

“We had the majority of possession throughout the day and when we did were able to put up points,” Pacheco added. “We moved the ball exceptionally well against a defense that was moving up the field really hard. That was how they wanted to play. We would quickly move into space and get on top of them, break the line and finish opportunities.”

Pacheco was very happy with his team defensively, despite a 10-minute period where the squad lost focus. “Other than a 10 minute lapse, where we let in a couple tries, it was really outstanding. We really didn’t have line breaks all that much.”

Central Washington will take on Utah in a rematch of the 2014 Varsity Cup Quarterfinal. CWU won that match on a late penalty 26-24.

Round 1 Preview: Central Washington vs. Arizona State

Round 1 Preview: Central Washington vs. Arizona State

The Wildcats of Central Washington will host the newest member of the Varsity Cup, Arizona State in Ellensburg, Wa. In a battle between two teams with offensive firepower, this match should prove to be a high scoring affair.

Despite losing handily to Cal in the 2014 Varsity Cup semi-finals, Tony Pacheco’s squad has proven to be a top tier collegiate program year in and year out. This year, the Wildcats have cruised through NCRC play averaging a staggering 93 points per league contest.

To prepare for the Varsity cup, Central Washington played a home and home with the Seattle Saracens. Although his squad lost twice to the Saracens, Pacheco was pleased with his teams’ improvement.

“We had to find ways to create opportunities instead of just going over the top of them which we have kind of been used to against other opponents,” Central Washington coach Tony Pacheco said of playing a bigger Saracens side. “

Central Washington are a side composed mostly of freshman and sophomores but are led by a core group of seniors. Aladdin Schirmer at Number 8, Josh Bower at wing, and Daniel Conklin at scrumhalf will lead the way for the Wildcats.

“We will rely on their maturity and their decision making out there. We will need quite a bit from those guys to make a good run at this,” Pacheco added.

Unlike Central Washington, Arizona State enters their first Varsity Cup with a difficult PAC Rugby Conference schedule under their belt. Additionally, Gary Lane’s squad comes into the tournament with non-conference clashes against BYU and St. Mary’s.

It will not get much easier for the Sun Devils when they face off with Central Washington this weekend. “They are probably the best team in the northwest currently,” Arizona State head coach Gary Lane said of Central Washington. “They have a good program and playing at home will be a very tough ask for the ASU team.”

Despite the tough draw in the opening round, Lane indicated that the tough conference and non-conference schedule has helped his very young side grow this year.

“The level of competition between of is very high, so playing week in and week out at that level has allowed our team to prepare for another high end opponent.”

The Sandstrom brothers, Alex and Adam, are both leading the way for the Sun Devils. Known for their 7s contributions, both are impacting the 15s game heavily this season. Flanker Keenan Mayfield spearheads a young Arizona State pack.

Arizona State will need a strong defense and large amounts of ball possession to limit a potent Central Washington attack on Saturday.

The game will kick off at 4PM ET.