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BYU defeats Cal 27-24, wins inaugural Varsity Cup rugby national championship

Published May 4, 2013 3:54 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

At about 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, it was one down, one to go for BYU sports fans. BYU's rugby team earned the school's first championship of the day, beating California 27-24 at South Field in Provo for the Varsity Cup national rugby championship. At 7 p.m. MDT tonight, BYU will meet UC Irvine in the NCAA men's volleyball national championship match. In the rugby match, the inaugural Varsity Cup, freshman Jonny Linehan scored with no time left to break a 24-24 tie and give the Cougars their second-straight national title. BYU beat Arkansas State 49-42 to win the title last year at Sandy's Rio Tinto Stadium. Linehan, who was named the game's MVP, accounted for 22 of BYU's 27 points. The Cougars jumped out to a 13-3 lead and controlled the match until the last four minutes, when Cal scored to tie the game 24-24. In the 2011 championship game, Cal eked out a 21-14 win over the Cougars. That after BYU won the 2009 title with a 25-22 win over the Bears. The schools have now met in eight national championship matches and Cal is 6-2 in those matches.