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Washington State University improved to 3-1 in the Northwest Collegiate Rugby Conference Saturday with a 20-7 defeat of Eastern Washington.

EWU dropped to 0-4. WSU wing Josh Vizcaya, prop Rio Fernandes and flyhalf Nate Freimund all scored tries for the Cougars, while No. 8 Casey Smith added a conversion and a penalty. Center Kyle Hoch scored EWU's lone try.

Meanwhile, east of the Cascades, the changing of the guard continues to roll on as Oregon beat Western Washington 17-12 behind three tries from flyhalf Connor Crossley. Flanker Cory Kleppe scored both of Western's tries.

WWU rolled over the NCRC last season, but now have dropped to 0-2 while the Ducks are now 4-0.

This is a huge change for the Ducks, who have had their struggles over the last few years.

"The biggest challenge for the club was the believe," said Head Coach Pate Tuisue. "They had to believe they were better than they thought they were. In the past, even last year when I was coaching, when things went wrong, they were lost. It was like they were in a maze in the dark and someone took away their map and their flashlight. So we talk a lot about how if you want to be a champion, you've got to think like a champion. We have more belief, and it shows."

The trainings have improved, said Tuisue, and the results have followed. Crossley's three tries were the result of smart team rugby, he said.

"The players, the team, did the work and Connor was in support," said Tuisue. "If you don't have the ball you're a supporting player."

Meanwhile, right behind Oregon is the University of Washington. The Huskies beat Western Oregon 39-27 with flanker Konstantin Rehbein scoring twice and tries from No. 8 Ian Booth, wing Joe Armstrong, forward Gabe Ho, fullback Justin Santos, and center Psalm Wooching.


NCRC West W L T Pf Pa Pd BT BL Pts
UO 4 0 0 139 55 84 2 0 18
UW 3 1 0 116 91 25 3 1 16
WWU 0 2 0 34 41 -7 1 2 3
WOU 0 4 0 73 175 -102 1 1 2










NCRC East W L T Pf Pa Pd BT BL Pts
CWU 4 0 0 282 44 238 4 0 20
WSU 3 1 0 148 105 43 2 0 14
BSU 2 1 0 152 68 84 2 0 10
EWU 0 4 0 65 170 -105 1 0 1
UI 0 3 0 5 265 -260 0 0 -4