UVU rugby takes down UCLA, hangs with No. 12 Arkansas State

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Photo by David Roura

When head coach Adam Griffee learned that Arizona State University had been placed on hold from participating in the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup after an on-field altercation, he jumped at the opportunity to get some exposure for his team. He reached out to the university to try and get their shot at UCLA, the team that ASU was scheduled to play in the first round.

After not being taken seriously, time started to wind down, and an opponent was needed for the April 8 match. At that point, UVU was given the opportunity to go to California and compete against some of the nation’s best teams, starting with UCLA.

They were eager to show just how good and prepared they were, coming away with a decisive win, with a final score of 40-14.

“We played probably the best game we’ve played all year,” said Griffee.

After the statement win, UVU moved on to face off against powerhouse Arkansas State University on April 15. The Wolverines were held scoreless for the entire first half of the game, but were able to score twice late in the second half. Ultimately, ASU proved to be too much for UVU to handle, with a final score of 39-12.

“We had two scores called back by the ref,” said Griffee. “It’s hard in rugby, you don’t really get a chance to argue those types of calls.”

UVU is proud of what they were able to achieve, holding their own against a team that is ranked 12th in the nation, according to Goff Rugby Report.

Griffee is eager to start getting ready for the next season, with the majority of his team returning. One of the key players who isn’t coming back next season, however, is senior and team captain Kepueli Lauti, who played his last game against UCLA.

UVU had a good season, and they were able to dominate their conference, with their biggest win coming against UNLV by a staggering final score of 154-14.

Griffee believes that their conference has gotten better, but his team has improved even more.

“Our team really jumped to another level this year, to being able to hang with the top teams in the country,” he said.

UVU is looking forward to next season to make a real run for a national championship, and with all of the exposure received this season, the future continues to look bright for the rugby team.