BYU rugby team wins national title
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The BYU rugby team captured its second national championship on May 19, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, with a hard-fought 49-42 victory over Arkansas State.
The Cougars also capped a perfect season with a 17-0 record. BYU's only other national title came in 2009.
The Cougars rallied from an early 8-0 deficit to score 15 unanswered points. After ASU tied the game, Shaun Davies and Will Taylor scored back-to-back tries in a two-minute span to propel BYU to a 29-15 advantage.
The Cougars led by that score at halftime.
Paul Lasike, who has a scholarship offer as running back from the football team, scored a try with just under 48 minutes remaining in the match to give the Cougars a 36-18 lead.
BYU went up 46-23 in the 61st minute on a try by Mikey Su'a, but ASU kept battling, and scored its final try in stoppage time.
Each Cougar try was scored by a different player.
But time ran out for Arkansas State, and the Cougars celebrated the win in front of a blue-clad crowd of 8,733.
"It was a great experience. It was a great night," said coach David Smyth. "To accomplish what we have this season is nothing short of fantastic. I'm really proud of the boys."
Cougar senior Ryan Roundy was serving an LDS mission when BYU won its first national championship in 2009. Then, the past two seasons, the Cougars came up short against Cal in the championship match, leaving Roundy filled with disappointment.
But that disappointment washed away Saturday night.
"It's an amazing feeling, especially with these senior players that I've played with the past three years," he said. "It feels amazing after all of the hard work we've put in this year."