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Central Washington University

Rugby Set For No. 4 BYU in XV's Fixture

The Central Washington University men's rugby team is at home this weekend for a XV's fixture against national powerhouse No. 4 Brigham Young University.  Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the CWU Rugby Pitch.

"There is no bigger task in collegiate rugby then taking on BYU," CWU Head Coach Todd Thornley said.  "What an exciting challenge for our group this week.  BYU have a number of class players so it really is a privilege to be hosting them on Saturday. This game will give us some quality feedback on where our program is at before our post-season begins in less then a month's time."

The Cougars are five-time National Champions, including four consecutive titles from 2012-15.  In their most recent fixture, they notched a 35-26 victory over No. 1 Saint Mary's in the Cougars' home opener.  Currently the Cougars' roster consists of three players who have capped for the Eagles in second row player Matt Jensen and centers Zach Webber and Calvin Whiting.

In their victory over Saint Mary's, the Cougars found the score sheet just two minutes in.  They extended their lead to 12-0 a short while later.  Saint Mary's mounted a counterassault and inched closer at 13-12, despite being shorthanded with a man in the sin bin.

After a BYU try, putting the Cougars up 19-13, and Whiting adding a penalty kick, the Gaels had a chance inside the BYU 22 that went begging at the end of the half.

Staunch defense from the Cougars, and a few ill-disciplined plays from the Gaels, allowed BYU to take a 32-19 lead.  Saint Mary's came back again, cutting the deficit to 35-26.  With ample opportunities to score in the waning moments, the Cougars held their line and came out on top.

Led by head coach David Smyth, the Cougars look to recapture the momentum they found last season against the Wildcats in Provo, Utah.  At the time, BYU was ranked No. 1 and handed the Wildcats a 58-27 defeat.

"The key to our success is execution under pressure on both sides of the ball," Thornley noted. "If we can execute our structures and stick to our identity we have opportunities to be successful during this game. We are preparing well so far this week so I am confident our group will put out a good performance."

The Wildcats are coming off of a 72-5 victory over Tacoma RC.

The live stream of the fixture will be available through wildcatsports.com, 15 minutes prior to kickoff at 1 p.m.
March 17, 2017

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