You are here
The competition in the D1A California Conference was highlighted by dominant displays of rugby resulting in each of the winning clubs putting at least 50 points on their opponents. Saint Mary’s continued its tear this spring with a 94-7 blowout over Cal Poly, San Diego State stomped UC-Santa Barbara, 53-21, and Santa Clara clocked Sacramento State, 53-28.
No. 2 ranked Saint Mary’s remained undefeated this season with its third 90+ point victory. Coach Tim O’Brien said that the key to the game was that the Gaels punished Cal Poly on turnovers and continued to improve on defense. “We prepared well for Cal Poly who is known for its athleticism, scrummaging, and coaching. We were consistent on defense, average with our ball, and ruthlessly efficient with turnover ball.”
Saint Mary’s scored 14 tries on the way to a 94-7 win. Jack Carso, Aaron Matthews, Payton Telea, Henry Hall, Mike Wallace (3), Tommy Wallace, Charlie Loudon (2), Alec Barton, Alejandro Duran, and Ethan Waller paraded into the tryzone for the Gaels and flyhalf Mike McCarthy totaled 27 points with a try and 12 conversions.
“Cal Poly put us through many, many phases in a variety of fashions,” O’Brien added. “Errors were their undoing... Mike Wallace at #13 was stellar [with three tries]. Mike was a menace on D and a handful with the ball in hand on O.”
The Gaels will host San Diego State this Saturday. O’Brien will have his players focused and ready for the task at hand. “SMC will need to play pretty savage defense like most Saturdays. SDSU this weekend is no different, stay consistent and continue to improve.”
Looking to build off its win last week against Arizona, #12 San Diego State beat hosting UC-Santa Barbara, 53-21. Five different players scored for the Aztecs with wing Jacob Zinda leading the way with four tries.
“We played good scramble rugby and off turnovers,” SDSU captain Austin Switzer said. “Three of our tries came purely on the first phase off of turnovers. We worked that a lot this week in practice and playing quick rugby. One of our wings, Jacob Zinda, scored four tries on the outside and he had a great day. Jake Jorstad and Kevin McGlone also had great days with tries and carries.”
Kevin McGlone (2), Jacob Zinda (4), Jake Jorstad, Kurtis Schmidt, and Ari Flink scored for the Aztecs and Harrison Barkham contributed with four conversions. In the loss, flyhalf Cameron Gerlach was responsible for all of UCSB’s points with two tries, three PKs, and a conversion.
SDSU’s toughest test of the season is next week at Saint Mary’s. “We know that we have to play a very physical game,” Switzer stated. “Defensively, we have to live up to the standard that we set against Arizona last week and play some really strong defense and come together on our attack. If we don’t put together phases then nothing is going to open up against Saint Mary’s. We won't be able to score just off of turnover ball.”
Lastly, Santa Clara ventured to Sacramento State and returned home with a 53-28 victory. Down 17-10 at halftime, the SCUTS scored 36 points in the second half to come back to win. Asad Braswell (3), Ryan Chavkin (2), Jack O'Hara, and Nick Russo crossed the whitewash and Matt Fitzgerald notched 18 points for his team with two tries and four conversions.
Despite the encouraging win, Santa Clara coach Paul Keeler was critical but offered some praise to his club. “We didn't play well and came in with some injuries. We just needed to establish quality line speed on defense, let them make mistakes, and make them pay. On attack, they weren't engaging rucks so we needed to build pressure with quick phases and line breaks before we try to shift to the outer channels. In the first half, we moved the ball laterally at the expense of go forward. We also dropped four tries in or near the line.”
The SCUTS’ next opponent is SDSU on March 11th.