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Central Washington Faces Both Lindenwoods

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Central Washington Faces Both Lindenwoods

Kevin Hall photo.

Central Washington opens up its inter-collegiate 15s schedule Thursday with a game at Lindenwood-Belleville, and will follow that up with a face-off with Lindenwood St. Charles on Saturday night.

CWU is playing an independent schedule with an eye to the Varsity Cup postseason, and started all of that off with a 35-21 victory over the Vancouver Rowing Club men's team out of British Columbia. 

"Our team is excited for both matches against two quality well-coached programs," CWU Head Coach Todd Thornley told CWU Athletics.  "Both present their unique challenges and we will need to put in two high quality performances in order to get the desired outcome. Playing two games in three days will be tough physically, however it is a challenge we are embracing. I'm excited to see if this group can make some adjustments from last Saturday's performance and execute on both Thursday and Saturday. Both of our opponents have some quality players who will put us under tremendous pressure. Given the weather here in Ellensburg, the best thing for our team right now is to play in order to enhance our overall development individually and as a team."

CWU has a big squad, and could well field two separate teams for the two games - 6pm Central Time today, Thursday, against the Lynx, and 7pm CT on Saturday against the Lions. But Thornley will also be wanting to see how his players handle a two-game weekend, which could be how the Varsity Cup finishes up.

In the Wildcat's win over Rowing Club, Jeremy Lenaerts scored two tries, and Simi Ratukalou, Beau Davis, Cameron Marek, and Larry Peneueta all touched down once.

For Lindenwood-Belleville, this will be the teams only 15s game of the spring semester. Head Coach Pat Clifton told Goff Rugby Report that he wants to concentrate on 7s, but added that you don't get a chance to play a team the caliber of Central Washington very often, and he jumped at the opportunity.

L-B is coming off a difficult 22-12 loss to Bowling Green in the DIAA fall playoffs. That game was tough to take for the Lynx, but, said Clifton, that wasn't the one his team thinks about.

"As tough as that game was, we walked away from it believing we were the better team on that day, we just didn't win," said Clifton. "Against Lindenwood St. Charles, we didn't feel we played well at all. We were embarrassed by our performance."

Lindenwood-Belleville played an independent DIAA season last fall and played against many different styles. They hung in there against DIA teams, and won some games, and beat some lower-division teams as well. Clifton said he felt good about how they competed against Wheeling Jesuit, Davenport, and Arkansas State, "but we felt that Lindenwood St. Charles game made us look worse than we are."

The Lynx are missing a few key players, so this will be a tough ask.

Currently, Goff Rugby Report's All-DI rankings has CWU at #5, Lindenwood at #9, and Lindenwood-Belleville at #24.Thursday's game may be live streamed, and if it is, it will be here: https://livestream.com/LindenwoodBelleville