BYU won their second match against a Super League squad, following up January’s close win over Old Puget Sound Beach with a 38-25 defeat of the Denver Barbarians.
Certainly BYU has had more time on the field than the men’s clubs, but still the results are impressive. Head Coach David Smyth’s squad is an experienced one, with the best forward pack in the nation, certainly in college and arguably on any team.
Ryan Roundy was superb. TJ Allred, back from mission, has slotted in quite comfortably as lock forward, while their front row of Mikey Su’a, Ishmael Tilialo and Ray Forrester is hard to match.
While the Cougars still don’t have Shaun Davies back from injury at scrumhalf, they do have Dylan Lubbe at flyhalf and the center pairing of Seki Kofe and Paul Lasike is as good as any in the nation.
“The boys had about ten minutes at the beginning defending in their 22, and that was good for us,” said Smyth. “Then we put together some good tries, working through the phases, and did well punishing their turnovers and that was the game.”
Denver plays a more structured game than OPSB and, again, it was a good test for a BYU team that has big plans.
For Denver, the loss wasn’t the end of the world. The Barbarians haven’t been outside much and needed the game to get going. Head Coach jason Kelly said his team is a work in progress.
“We did some things well, but I think our one-on-one tackling is a bit of an issue,” Kelly said. “We did well offloading, but we also gave up some turnovers, and they punished those. We’re getting better, ut we still have some work to do.”
Two college prospects showed well for Denver: Hunter Leland had a solid game and John Poynter also looked good even though this is early days yet.