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BYU Rugby Ready for Biggest Game in History

2 May 2014 Brett Richins
BYU's 2013 Rugby National Championship team. (byurugby.com)

BYU’s 2013 Rugby National Championship team. (byurugby.com)

BYU rugby (17-1) will be gunning for back-to-back-to-back national championships on Saturday afternoon when the Cougars face their arch-rivals, the Cal Bears (18-2) at Rio Tinto Stadium.

The Cougars defeated Cal in a thriller 27-24 on Jonny Linehan’s last-second drop goal kick to win the inaugural Varsity Cup national championship at South Field last year.

In 2012, the Cougars defeated Arkansas State 49-42 at Rio Tinto to take home the national club title.

They now stand poised to supplant Cal as the premier rugby program in the country if they can emerge victorious on Saturday and claim their third-straight championship.

The Cougars enter the game as the favorite over a program that has won 26 national championships in the last 34 years and has produced 126 All-Americans and 43 players who have gone on to play for the United States National Team.

Combine a potential changing of the guard in the sport and the fact that the contest will be nationally televised live by the NBC Sports Network and you have perhaps the biggest game the in the history of BYU rugby. It’s a reality that is not lost on Cougar stars Kyle Sumsion, Paul Lasike and Jonny Linehan, who are admittedly feeling the magnitude of the opportunity…

BYU head coach David Smyth doesn’t see the Cougars as the favorite in this game, but he does think that his team is peaking at just the right time. The Cougars have outscored their two Varsity Cup playoff opponents by a combined score of 130-15, including a 60-0 win over the Naval Academy last Saturday in the semifinals.

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