BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The BYU Cougars contrived an eight-try assault on No. 7 Indiana, totaling a 44-17 victory in the Semifinals of the D1A Rugby Playoffs.
Coming off an opening round win over Colorado State, the Cougars showed no ill effects from their travel to Bloomington, Ind., needing just six minutes to score their first try. After another six minutes, a second converted try doubled BYU’s early lead, 10-0.
The third-ranked Cougars would score twice more, this time both converted, before Indiana’s Jake Ney found the endzone to put his side on the scoreboard, 24-5. The Hoosiers held their momentum momentarily and Men’s Eagle center Bryce Campbell dashed in from long range for a try of his own.
An experienced BYU side remained composed on the road, though. The Cougars would run in four more scores by the 70th minute to boost their lead to 44-10. Still, the Big Ten University Champions never stopped coming at BYU and sent Ney in for the lock’s second try on the game’s final play.
The 27-point-defeat is one of few blemishes on Indiana’s 2016-17 record. The Hoosiers have proven to be head and shoulders above the competition in the BTU Conference, and have beaten some very good teams outside of their conference, including Penn State. An impressive group of seniors will need to be replaced, but a reenergized relationship with the state’s talented pool of high school players should keep Indiana plenty competitive.
Few will be surprised that BYU’s return season to D1A Rugby sees the Cougars into the National Semifinals. D1A’s lone Independent program is in full flight, and it will take a behemoth of a team to slow BYU down.
One squad that will most definitely be up for the challenge is the Cougars’ Semifinal opponent – Life University. The defending D1A Rugby National Champions will host the April 29 Semifinal after besting Lindenwood, 37-20.
The winner of next weekend’s fixture in Marietta Georgia will advance to the May 6 D1A Rugby National Championship game at Saint Mary’s Stadium in Moraga, Calif. The D1A Final is scheduled to kickoff at 4 p.m. PT and will air live on CBS Sports Network.