Rugby semi-final preview: First meeting of BYU, Life

Posted: May 10, 2012 at 6:16 am

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Rugby semi-final preview: First meeting of BYU, Life

By BYU Rugby

May 8th, 2012 @ 9:55am

PROVO After beating the UCLA Bruins 103-24 in front of a capacity South Field crowd last weekend, the Brigham Young University Cougars advance to take on Mid-South champ Life in Marietta, Ga., in the collegiate D1-A semifinals this weekend.

The matchup against the Running Eagles of Life will be the first for BYU as Life makes its first semi-final appearance in the history of its program, while the Cougars will be involved in their eighth straight semi-final appearance.

BYU will be somewhat familiar with the surroundings and coaching staff of Life, as the Cougars have been involved with both during the Cougars 2009 national championship run. The 2009 regional qualifier and quarterfinal for BYU were both played at the Marietta schools rugby complex, and the Cougars emerged victorious to advance to the semi-finals against an up-start San Diego State University led at the time by current Life head coach Dan Payne.

In 2009, BYU beat SDSU coming from behind to make a similar feat against Cal Berkeley and win their first national championship.

Despite a number of players who were young in 2009 and are still on the Cougars roster today, BYU head coach David Smyth knows traveling to Life and going up against a strong team will be a tall order.

There are a few similarities from 2009, Smyth said, But as you look at it closely, this will be a very different experience. Dan [Payne] has done a great job building their team, and they are the envy of many aspiring collegiate programs with the amount of support their school provides. We expect nothing but a hard-fought game.

The Running Eagles of Life currently sit 9-0 on the season having run rough-shod through their competition, combining to score 546 points and only allow 55 points in eight conference games.

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Rugby semi-final preview: First meeting of BYU, Life

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May 10th, 2012 at 6:16 am

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