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BYU rugby: Cougars overcome slow start to beat Cal Poly in Provo

By Kelby Jones

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, April 1 2014 8:42 a.m. MDT

BYU rugby didn't get off to the strong start it was hoping for in Wednesday night's game against Cal Poly. The Cougars found themselves down 10-0 in only the seventh minute.

"We didn't start well and then the bad weather came in spoiled any chance of having a free-flowing game," BYU head coach David Smyth said.

It wouldn't take long for the Cougars to turn things around though. BYU's Josh Whippy scored in the 11th minute to get the Cougars on the board. Whippy scored again in the first half along with Jordan Lowry and Johnny Linehan to give the Cougars a 24-15 lead going into halftime.

The second half started off cold, windy and wet, but the adjustments made by the Cougars continued to pay off. BYU captain Linehan scored a try in the 42nd minute to extend the Cougar lead to 31-15. Cal Poly answered right back with a try in the 48th minute to bring the Mustangs within nine points, down 31-22.

Unfortunately for Cal Poly those were the last points it saw. BYU's defense tightened up and didn’t allow the Mustangs to score another try for the rest of the game. Linehan kicked two more penalty kicks in the second half as the Cougars held on for 37-15 win.

"We've got a lot of work to do, but we'll learn from it and keep getting better moving forward," Smyth said.

With the win, BYU moves to 12-1 on the season. However, the Cougars won't have much time to savor Wednesday's victory as San Francisco Golden Gate comes to South Field for a Saturday matchup with the Cougars in Provo for the Champions Challenge.

"We'll spend the week in practice trying to get ready for what we think they'll throw at us," Smyth said. "We'll be back again on Saturday and hopefully things go our way."

Saturday's game begins at 1:00 p.m. MDT and can be followed live on BYU's YouTube channel or via Twitter.

Kelby Jones is a student at BYU studying public relations and currently writes for BYU Rugby.

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