The Women's Cougar Rugby program started their two-match weekend trip to Colorado with a 54-0 shutout of Colorado in Boulder on Friday.
The BYU students have moved to the Eastern Rockies DI competition, and looked plenty strong in their first road league match of the season.
"We started a little slow," said Head Coach Tom Waqa. "It took some time to find our rhythm and settle in the beginning, and then we worked our way into the game. We really need work on being consistent day-in, day-out. I’ve challenged our leaders to lead from up front, and get us some good platform."
This they did as the game wore on, but Colorado had the Cougars on the back foot early and almost scored.
"They have some tough girls in the pack," said Waqa. "I’m glad our defense came through."
The Women Cougars were led by captain and flanker Samantha Wright and No. 8 Jordan Gray, who each scored three tries.
Next up is Air Force, as the Cougars hope to make it 3-0 in league competition (they beat New Mexico 75-0 October 8).
"We need to improve our overall performance against Air Force," said Waqa. "The girls are good at adjusting when we play doubleheaders like this; hopefully we continue to do that tomorrow. We played on a turf field for the first time, I’m just glad we came out without any major injuries."
New York Athletic Club travels to San Francisco this weekend and will play Olympic Club Saturday afternoon in a fall friendly that’s somewhat off-season for both clubs.
It’s a friendly match between Athletic Clubs from each coast, and gives the players on both clubs a little wakeup during a slower time.
Olympic Club will be without longtime lose forward Kort Schubert, but will feature Rikus Pretorius and Ante Drazina in their back row. They will boast a very solid tight five, with Eagle Will Johnson and potential Eagle Andy King in the front row, and former Eagle Carl Hansen and captain Andrew Armstrong in the second row.
NYAC, meanwhile, will look to Nic Discala, Conor Coyne and Pat Fiffe, with Seth Cohen and Brian Doyle in the second row and James Denise anchoring a solid back row.
Justin Hundley and Troy Hall highlight a strong backline for NYAC, which includes Canadian age-grade standout Kyle Buckley, while Olympic Club will look for former Cal standouts Keegan Engelbrecht and Gary Golding, as well as Marcus Rose in the midfield, to produce points. Making his debut in the Olympic Club backline is Cal All American Dustin Muhn.
More USA players are in action this week as they shake off World Cup bumps and bruises.
Scott LaValla gets his second start at lock forward for Stade Francais as the Paris club takes on Agen. Les Agenois will not be using Kevin Swiryn, so no USA v. USA clash there.
Biarritz will start Takudzwa Ngwenya on the right wing against Lyon on Saturday. And also in France, Montpellier plays Castres, but Seta Tuilevuka will not play.
In France’s Pro D2, Inaki Basauri is on the bench for Perigueux against Carcasson.
In England, Hayden Smith starts at lock for Saracens in a LV=Cup match against Exeter. Chris Wyles is not in the 22.
Samu Manoa is on the bench for Northampton in their LV=Cup match against the Ospreys. The Ospreys, readers might remember, are run by former USA Head Coach Scott Johnson. Johnson left the Eagles for the Ospreys job pledging to help USA players in Wales, but the Ospreys system has no Americans in their pipeline, except, possibly, Hanno Dirksen, who played for the USA Selects and in the NA4 when he was 17.
Chauncey O’Toole could make his debut for the Ospreys if he comes off the bench. O’Toole is Canadian.
In the English Championship division, Mike MacDonald will start at prop for Leeds against Plymouth. Scrumhalf Robbie Shaw is on the bench.
Andrew Suniula looks to make his debut for the Cornish Pirates should he come off the bench at center against Esher.
Tim Usasz will not be used for Nottingham against Doncaster, and Shawn Pittman is on the bench for London Welsh against Bristol.
Todd Clever is in camp with Suntory in Japan, but they won’t play this weekend.
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