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BYU Rugby takes on tough competition this weekend

MORAGA, Calif. — The BYU rugby team is on the road and ready to play one of its toughest competitors in Saint Mary’s College. Gametime is set for 12 p.m. PST Saturday.

After an unexpected game cancellation against the Air Force Academy last weekend, BYU is anxious to get back on the field, and Saint Mary’s is a fitting opponent. It is the only team that disrupted BYU’s winning streak last year with a 30-24 win over the Cougars.

“Not only are we ready to get back in action and play, but we’re coming into this game with a lot of energy and preparation,” said Kyle Sumsion, BYU team captain. “Last year, we weren’t as focused. We don’t want to make that mistake again.”

While the Cougars went on to defeat the Gaels in their second matchup of the 2014 season, the first game was still a disappointment. To make sure this coming game isn’t a repeat of history, the Cougars have put in extra hours at practice this past week.

This season, Saint Mary’s has experienced some turnover in players, and, as a result, has had some ups and downs. The team is coming to the match against BYU with a 78-5 win over San Diego State. Tommy Wallace and Kingsley McGowan are leading Saint Mary's offensively and defensively.

In 2014, Saint Mary’s was named the Men’s College Team of the Year by American Rugby, and Jan. 24, coach Tim O’Brien was awarded Coach of the Year by USA Rugby.

“It’s no lie that Saint Mary’s is a good school and has a great rugby team,” said BYU assistant coach Wayne Tarawhiti. “But BYU has had no losses this season. Both teams seem to be pretty evenly matched. This will probably be one of the most exciting games up to this point in the season.”

This weekend’s game will be broadcast live on SMC Gael Vision at www.smcgaels.com. For a direct link, visit http://rugby.byu.edu/schedule/2015-schedule.

BYU will play Saint Mary’s in Provo once again on March 14 at 7 p.m. MT.

Whitney Wilcox Laycock is a senior in BYU's School of Communications with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in sociology. Email: whitney.wilcox18@gmail.com