BYU rugby team defeats Life University

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The Cougars defeated Life University 26-20 in the D1-A semifinal on Saturday and earned their sought-after spot in the championship game May 19 at Rio Tinto Stadium.

The Cougars played their game against a well-matched Life team. Their early lead is what carried them until the end, when they proudly advanced to a seventh straight appearance in the championship game.

The Cougars gained their advantage from an early try from prop Ray Forrester in the first five minutes of the game. Scrumhalf Shaun Davies scored the goal, which extended BYU’s lead to 7-0.

Life quickly fought back when Joe Cowley gained possession of the ball and passed to Life’s scrumhalf who was able to score the team’s first try in the 10th minute of the game. Life missed the two-point conversion and BYU led 7-5.

Life’s offense was out to prove their strength, which kept the Cougar’s defense wide-eyed and on its feet. After much perseverance from BYU’s defense Dylan Lubbe intercepted a Life pass and scored a 60 meter try.

Paul Lasike scored the next two tries in the latter part of the first half, which ended up as the tries which earned the Cougars the coveted spot in the championship.

“Not only did we hold on because of those tries, but both came on the back of some tough defense which was the name of the game,” BYU coach David Smyth said in a press release.

The Cougars were up 26-5 when the Running Eagles finally scored two tries by Cameron Dolan and Andrew McNeil, which put them back in the game.

Cowley scored an additional penalty goal in the final quarter, which asked for a tough Cougar defense to carry them to victory.

“We had to earn this one,” BYU captain Ryan Roundy said in a press release. “I’m really proud of our guys for their guts and determination.”

The Cougars will fight for their second championship title against Arkansas State on Saturday May 19 in the Rio Tinto Stadium. For more information on the Collegiate National Championship visit www.riotintostadium.com.

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