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Jay Drew
Jay covers BYU athletics for The Salt Lake Tribune. You can follow him on Twitter @drewjay.

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

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.

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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.



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