BYU Rugby: Can the Cougars finish off their run for the Varsity Cup?

Dave Brinton

The journey for a third straight title is only two wins away for the Cougars, can they do it again?

Two weeks and two games.  This could be all that stands in the way of the 3rd ranked Cougars from hoisting another Varsity Cup National Championship trophy, and their third national championship in a row. BYU has taken care of business since their only loss in February.  Since that time BYU is 9-0 and has won by an average of almost 39 points per game.  The closest game in this span was a 14 point win against St. Mary's, who was the only team to beat them.  BYU is averaging 57.4 points per game while only allowing 18.6 in those nine games and are looking to keep the run alive.

Quality Wins

One of the keys to looking at their last nine wins is the fact that a number of the wins have come against top 25 competition.  As of the April 17th rankings BYU came out victorious against St. Mary's (#2), Cal-Poly (#18), University of Utah (#9), Arizona State (#15), and Dartmouth (#19).  With more than half of these wins being against top caliber teams, the Cougars will continue to look for ways to use their experience to win at home or on the road.

Quarterfinals

The win in the quarterfinals against Dartmouth last week could prove to be a jumping off point for the Cougars as the game was against a quality opponent, and away from South Field.  The first half started slow as a mistake driven first half caused turnovers and penalties to keep the Cougars to only 15 points in the half.  With a powerful defense keeping the Big Green to only 3 points in the half, BYU was able to overcome the struggles as they ran away with the game in the second half.  Eight second half tries and 25 points from Jonny Linehan later, the Cougars walked out with a 55 point second half and a 70-15 win.

Upcoming

If the Cougars can knock off the 6th ranked Navy team, at home, this will punch their ticket to play in the championship game at Rio Tinto Stadium next Saturday, their ninth straight title game .  If the seedings hold up this weekend, this would present a rematch of the Varsity Cup Championship last year between BYU and the University of California.  Last year the game came down to the wire as a last second drop goal from Linehan gave the Cougars their third National Championship in the last five years.  Cal will be looking for revenge on the Cougars and will try to take advantage of the Cougars not playing on their home field this year, as Rio Tinto Stadium is considered a neutral field.

With the semi-final game against the Midshipmen being the Cougars final home game of the year, make sure you show up to South Field for the 1 pm start time and cheer on the boys in blue!  If you can't make it to the game, make sure you watch it online.

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