Three of the top four teams in the nation were in action this weekend, and all three won big.
BYU Opens Seasons
BYU opened up its season with a 53-22 defeat of Grand Canyon in St. George, UT Saturday.
The Cougars were coming into the game relatively cold, while GCU had already logged games against Arizona (a loss), and San Diego State (a win). Too Laei, Tosh Wilcox, and Zach Webber all helped BYU to a 29-5 first-half lead. Maceo Brown got GCU’s lone try.
Christian Bucklin’s try nudged the ‘Lopes closer just before halftime, making it 29-12.
In the second half, Sam Merril went over for BYU and Brown scored his second for GCU, but after that BYU finished the stronger. Nalu Shortland scored two and Wilcox got his second, with Grand Canyon freshman Suwaiter Poch getting his team’s fourth of the day.
Overall it was a little bit messy at times, but a good start for BYU. Grand Canyon can take some solace in the fact that scoring four tries against BYU is a rarity.
Gaels 3-0 In Conference
Saint Mary’s moved to 3-0 in California Conference play with a 62-5 defeat of San Diego State. Having already dispatched Santa Clara and UCSB this year, the Gaels are in good shape with Cal Poly and UC Davis still left on the schedule.
Note - the remainder of the Saint Mary’s home games, including BYU and Cal, will be streamed LIVE on FloRugby.
Ronin Murphy, Aaron Matthews, and Tommy Wallace all scored early tries to stake Saint Mary’s to a 19-0 lead. Vili Helu continues to play strong rugby from the No. 8 position and he and fellow back row mate Alec Barton each scored to make it 36-5 at the break.
Ethan Waller rumbled in for two in the second half, and Charlie Louden and Tavitie Loptei also touched down, with scrumhalf Sam Yacoubian converting three in the first half and three in the second.
In three conference games, Saint Mary’s has scored 218 and allowed 12.
Cal Over Olympic Club
Cal took on Olympic Club and scored 13 tries in an 87-19 defeat of the men’s PRP team.
Twelve different Bears scores, with Nic Mirhashem, Aidan Flynn, and Damon Wiley all scoring twice, and Jamies Howells notching 18 points on conversions.
Olympic Club, looking for some well-drilled, fit opposition, got it.
"It's great to be back on Witter Rugby Field in front of our fans, friends and families. There's no other place like it," said Flynn, whose tries came in the 18th and 52nd minutes. "Getting the win in front of the home fans was certainly good, too."
The Olympic Club's scoring came on tries by Travis Moscone, Nick Wagner, and one more. Keegan Engelbrect, a three-time All-America flyhalf during his Cal career, converted twice.
"Cal is a great team, a great program no one is better coached," said Olympic Club head coach Ray Lehner, a captain, national champion and All-American as a Bear who went on to become an Oxford Blue and U.S. international.
Added Englebrecht, "It was a great opportunity to come back and play on the field where we worked so hard as student-athletes."