Barnburner: Utah v. BYU

Barnburner: Utah v. BYU

For Immediate Release

March 1, 2011


CPD Barnburner: Utah (0-0) v. BYU (0-0)

BOULDER, Colo. – USA Rugby has selected the first College Premier Division “Barnburner” a match that showcases the competitiveness and excitement that encapsulates elite college rugby.


This week’s Barnburner will be an epic Western Conference battle between the Brigham Young University (BYU) Cougars and the Utah Utes on Saturday March 5 in the 2011 Wasatch Cup at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.


Though the two teams have faced each other numerous times dating back to the 1970s, the Wasatch Cup series dates only to 2004, with BYU holding a 6-1 advantage over the Utes.  Utah’s lone win was in 2005 when they beat the Cougars 17-15.


Last Year BYU captured the 2010 Wasatch Cup with a 15-10 victory in Provo on March 6. All 15 Cougar points came from the boot of All-American Shaun Davies while Utah was held to a pair of unconverted tries.  The two teams met a second time at Rio Tinto Stadium on March 26 with Utah coming away with a 31-29 win.



The battle of the backs is going to be fantastic, particularly in the midfield.  Utah’s lightning quick and elusive back, Don Pati, garnered national attention last year for scoring the sudden death try to take down the mighty Cal Bears in last year’s Collegiate Sevens tournament.  Pati can play just about anywhere in the backline, but has found a home at outside center this year and will likely have Eagle Thretton Palamo at inside center.  The pair links eerily well and anticipate each others running lines, creating nightmares for defenders.


BYU Freshmen centers (and twin brothers), Josh and Jared Whippy, have made an impact for the Cougars already this year.  Jared and Josh are products of Utah United RFC, and are already regulars on the BYU score sheet.  The pair tallied 20 points against CPD team Cal Poly - SLO three weeks ago.  Josh scored a hat trick and Jared got a try of his own.  The twins will certainly have their hands full with Palamo and Pati as their opposite numbers.


While the electric backs get most of the attention, the more trained rugby eyes will be delighted by the battle set to take place in the front row.  Utah has two All-American front rowers in Mike Shepherd and Camden Burd.  Shepherd can play prop or hooker, but has seen the most time in the #2 jersey this year.  The BYU front row is experienced and claims one All-American in Mike Su’a.  Utah’s front row weighs in at 760 lbs., 15 lbs. heavier than BYU’s svelte 745 lbs.  Efficient scrum technique and support from the rest of the pack will be needed to negate the Utah weight advantage, so keen forward play may be the key to this match.


All-Americans in the Barnburner:

Utah: Thretton Palamo, Don Pati, Camden Burd (Honorable Mention), Scott Metcalf (Honorable Mention), Mike Shepherd

BYU: Ryan Round, Dylan Lubbe, Shaun Davies, Viliami Vimahi (Honorable Mention)




Further Information:

Jarrod Beckstrom | Communications Manager | USA Rugby | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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The College Premier Division is an elite collegiate rugby competition sanctioned and administered by USA Rugby.  The CPD is modeled after NCAA competitions and features 31 elite men’s college rugby programs competing in four conferences, Rugby East, Mid-South, Western, and Pacific. The regular season sees all teams in the conference play one another, with the two top seeds qualifying for the playoffs.  Playoffs are single elimination and the two unbeaten teams advance to the CPD final.  The winner of the CPD will be declared the National Champion. 


CPD Quarterfinals | May 7, 2011 |Various Locations

CPD Semifinals | May 14, 2011 | Infinity Park | Glendale, Colorado

CPD Championship | May 21, 2011 | Rio Tinto Stadium | Sandy, Utah






Rugby East

Cal Poly – SLO

Air Force

Arkansas State






Central Washington

Arizona State





Notre Dame


San Diego State




St. Mary’s

Colorado State


Ohio State

UC Davis


Texas A&M

Penn State





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The Official Ball of the College Premier Division

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