You are here

Utah's Chad Gough on the run. Utah Rugby Photo.

Utah used a strong defensive performance to defeat Arizona State 32-10 in PAC play. A commanding effort by the Ute forwards held the Sun Devils at bay until a late a try in the second half.

Utah opened the scoring in the desert with a try from Scott Strong followed by ones from Jacob Morrison, Mason Hafen, Casey Raymond and Gabe Ruflin. Utah dominated possession throughout the game and would have had a number other scores if not for knock-ons.

Coach Jon Law was very positive about the performance, praising the team’s defensive play.

“We really did a pretty good job. Especially the defensive structure we played. Our tackling, shape and intensity improved. Arizona State can be a very dangerous team. They are strong in their backs and they can move things around as evidenced by their success in 7s. But our backs did a good job,” said Law.

Utah was able to keep a potent ASU backline at bay because of a dominant performance by its forwards. Chad Gough, Ruflin and freshman Nate Nelson spearheaded a pack that won seven opponent scrums in the first half and another four in the second.

“We were just physically superior and technically superior,” Law added. “Nate Nelson was really active and did a lot of the dirty work that is not going to show up on the stats sheets.”

The Utes have a lot of positive things to take from the match but letting a number of tries go begging, the team has some things to strive for.

“Overall, there is plenty to be optimistic about coming out of this game. But this particular match we simply had too many self inflicted wounds to produce an attractive form of rugby,” concluded Law.