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BYU won the Rocky Mountain West 7s tournament Saturday in Fort Collins, Colo. The Cougars went 5-0 on the day and were dominant in the process.
BYU walloped Colorado State 41-0, beat Colorado's B-side 29-0 and crushed Colorado State's B-side 54-7 in pool play. The Cougars' closest game was a 22-12 win over the Buffs in the semifinal. Colorado State knocked off Air Force, 24-19, in the other semifinal, before being dispatched 40-15 in the final. BYU was equally dominant in the Cougar Invitational earlier this fall, but upset in the final by Air Force.
"I think we learned something from that, so we’re evolving as a 7s team. I think we’re getting better each time we go out there, and this weekend we just really focused on playing one game at a time," said BYU coach David Smyth.
"Steve St. Pierre, who’s been doing a lot of work with the 7s team, had the boys fairly well dialed in for today, and they did what they had to do."
BYU got solid performances from veterans like Will Taylor, Kyle Sumsion and Dan Hubert. Freshman Jonah Leffar was impressive, also.
"[He] dealt with the physicality very well. His skill set’s very good," said Smyth of Leffar. "He’s a quick, elusive runner, and also a very good defender. He tackled very well, even against some of the bigger boys."
Air Force and Colorado played a pair of barn burners on the day. In pool play, the Buffs held a massive lead over the Zoomies, but Air Force came back to win 24-22. Air Force was again successful in the consolation, winning 33-24 to finish third.
With the Rocky Mountain West title, BYU won an automatic bid to USA Rugby's 7s National Championships Nov. 23-24 in Greensboro, NC. They will decline the bid, however, and put 7s to bed for the season. BYU has not yet participated in USA Rugby's 7s Nationals, and it doesn't seem they will any time soon, as Smyth has a specific plan for 7s.
"Eventually, what we want to do is we want to get in three real competitive tournaments throughout the fall," he said. "We’ll keep building the Cougar Invitational in Provo, and then we’ll keep playing this Rocky Mountain 7s with our colleague teams here in Colorado, and next year we may look into one of the California tournaments."