BYU rugby to host Navy in playoffs

By BYU rugby

Published: Tuesday, May 3 2011 5:29 p.m. MDT

BYU lock Viliami Vimahi fends off a would-be Navy tackler Saturday.

Paul Meyers

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PROVO - After an undefeated season that included a win over their rival Utah in the Wasatch Cup and a Western Conference Championship, the BYU Cougars move on to the College Premier Division playoffs by hosting Navy the in the quarterfinals at South Field Saturday at 1 p.m.

"This is a big deal," BYU head coach David Smyth said. "This is the first year of the CPD and this will be our first chance to host a playoff game at our home field, so we're looking forward to it."

Navy, a perennial rugby contender who is making its first visit to Provo, finished its conference schedule with just one loss and it came to rival Army in a winner-takes-all conference title bout at West Point last weekend.

"They're a good-sized group of players," said Cougars assistant coach Kimball Kjar of the Midshipmen. "They're exactly what you'd expect from a service academy team in that they're never going to back down."

Navy's ability to hold the Cougars in check will likely play a key factor in the Midshipmen's game plan on Saturday. BYU has averaged over 92 points per game in conference play.

The Midshipmen will also look to control BYU's Ryan Roundy, who currently leads all CPD players in scoring with 19 tries, and scrumhalf Shaun Davies, who leads the CPD in points scored with 151.

While BYU's offensive abilities have been largely publicized the Cougars’ ability to hold opposing teams in check defensively has gone relatively unnoticed.

The Cougars allowed a league-low 50 points, including just five tries, during the regular season, while second-place Cal allowed 80 and third-place Arkansas allowed 90. Navy allowed 129 points during league play.

"The playoffs are a whole new beast," he said, "It doesn't matter what you've done during the regular season. It's win or go home and both teams will have to be on their absolute best, but that's what makes this time of year fun and we look forward to it."

Admission is $5 for non-students and $2 for students. Fans can also watch the game live online at www.byurugby.com.

The BYU rugby program is one of the school's most winning sports teams with just 19 losses in over 20 years. BYU rugby won the 2009 Collegiate National Championship and has promoted 28 players to All-American status. For more news go to www.byurugby.

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