In less than three weeks, the Varsity Cup Championship game will once again be held in Rio Tinto Stadium and the BYU Cougars rugby team hopes to take make yet another appearance to defend its title. After winning the National Championship for the last three years, BYU wants to hoist the hardware for the fourth time in a row and fifth time overall.
The road to the championship hasn't been as easy as they have made it look, and it isn't over yet. This Saturday, the Cougars will host the 5th ranked Central Washington Wildcats in one of the semi-final games, while the formidable Cal Bears squad takes on the Navy Midshipmen in the other semifinal.
The Cougars are coming off a win on the road against the scrappy UCLA Bruins while the Wildcats are recovering from a low scoring win against Utah. If the Cougars can pull off the win on Saturday, they might just be on course to face a tough Cal team that BYU defeated in last year's Championship match. BYU hasn't played any of the remaining teams this year but will look to keep up their winning ways regardless of their opponents.
The Cougars' season has been a string of one dominant victory after another, with only two games being won by less than 10 points, both against Saint Mary's. BYU has an average margin of victory of 64 points. The Cougars' defense shut out three different opponents, while scoring 99, 100, 109 points against those same teams. Twice the Cougars beat 4th-ranked Saint Mary's and twice they beat in-state rival Utah.
During this undefeated season, BYU has scored at least 50 points nine times, and over 70 points five times. To say the season has been a success would be an understatement of epic proportions. Not only has the team gained confidence and improved with each game, but they have played a variety of lineups that can only help the team as the progress towards another trophy.
With a total of three games left before the Varsity Cup crowns their champions, the Cougars have as good of a chance to win as anyone. Once again, the Cougars will walk into their game ranked as the top team in the country, having been tested on a number of occasions. The team has shown grit, toughness, and an ability to beat even the best teams. Along with the two wins over Saint Mary's, they have beat two ranked Utah teams, a ranked Arizona State team, and a ranked UCLA squad. Half of their wins have been against ranked opponents, with four of the wins being against top 10 teams.
In order to win the championship, the Cougars will need to continue this trend and beat two more top-five teams to win out. If this were to happen, the Cougars would have eight of their 14 wins against ranked opponents.
Once again, the Cougars are a rugby powerhouse and are looking to prove that on the field. The next step on the path to the championship is to face off against the Wildcats on the Cougars home field. The game is Saturday at 1 pm and you can bet that the players would love a big showing from the crowd as they play their last home game of the season. Even if you can't be at the game you can still support them on their YouTube channel.
Don't miss out on the chance to see this team in action as the future continues to look bright for the Cougars and this year's championship path once again goes through BYU.