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Moraga, Calif.— RUGBYMag.com #6 Saint Mary’s scored the final 10 points of the game to overcome a 24-20 deficit in the second half and upset #1 BYU Saturday.
With only a few minutes left in the game, Garrett Brewer cut through for a
long run that, with Dylan Audsley's put the Gaels up to stay 27-24.
"We just tried to stay focused and play to our pattern," Brewer told RUGBYMag.com. "We've been behind before and we don't let it get to us. We kept our composure and our concentration and stood up to them physically, too."
Saint Mary’s broke a scoreless tie with a try just over 10 minutes in to lead 5-0. BYU flyhalf Jonny Linehan made back-to-back kicks in the 16th and 21st minutes to give the Cougars their first lead at 6-5.
But a big turnaround came when the Gaels' Luke Sauser nabbed the restart and dished to Bubba Jones for the go-ahead try, making it 12-6. That was a momentum-changer, said Brewer.
Linehan scored three more with a drop goal to cut the deficit in half, but that option was an indication of how staunch the St. Mary's defense was.
"They are always a big, physical team, so we had to go in with the right mental attitude to deal with that," said St. Mary's captain Cooper Maloney. "Once we saw we could stand up to them, that confidence spilled over into other areas of play."
St. Mary's scored another Jones try to make it 17-9, before BYU's Josh Whippy torched the Gaels for the first Cougar try. A Dylan Audsley penalty put the score at 20-16 St. Mary's at halftime.
After trailing 20-16 at halftime, BYU captain Kyle Sumsion scored a try early in the second half to give the Cougars their first lead since 6-5. The conversion attempt failed and the Cougars held onto a 21-20 lead.
The Cougars extended the lead to 24-20 in the 58th minute on Jonny Linehan’s penalty.
"We led and let the game get away from us last year again Cal," said Maloney. "We learned our lesson and retained our team unity. That was key."
Then in the 66th minute Brewer broke through for the try that gave St. Mary's the lead. BYU came back and hammered on the door, but the Gaels weathered the storm, and then go into Cougar territory once more, where Audsley kicked a penalty to seal the win.
"They have an amazing kicker," said Brewer. "So we knew that we wanted to extend the lead so a penalty wouldn't tie it. And we knew we couldn't give up a penalty anywhere our side of the 50, because their kicker could put it over from anywhere."
“All in all I think we got exactly what we were looking for: a hard game,” BYU head coach David Smyth said. “Obviously we are disappointed we didn’t come away on the right side of the scoreboard but I think we can learn a lot from this. All credit to Saint Mary’s. I know they were definitely ready for us. We’ll take a lot of good from this and take our lessons, and at the end of the day we’ll be a better team for it.”
“We lost to the team that wanted it more,” Sumsion said. “We played hard and fought hard, just committed to many mistakes. I am excited to play them in a couple weeks to show them how BYU rugby really plays.”
St. Mary's 30
Tries: Jones 2, Brewer, Other
Convs: Audsley 2
Pens: Audsley 2
Tries: Sumsion, Whippy
Pens: Linehan 3