Cal Poly Rugby Head Coach Dave Burnett Resigns

May 27th, 2014
Head Coach Dave Burnett has called it a day at Cal Poly. Photo Phil Bezouska

Head Coach Dave Burnett has called it a day at Cal Poly. Photo Phil Bezouska

After three years in charge of the Cal Poly Rugby Club, Head Coach Dave Burnett is stepping down and returning to his hometown of Sydney, Australia.

Burnett informed the Cal Poly Rugby players, parents and alumni of his resignation at a recent Rugby Club dinner, citing the decision as the best life and career move for him at this time. Burnett, who worked as the Sponsorship Manager at the NSW Waratah’s in Sydney before moving to the United States, will look to continue his career in the commercial world in the immediate future.

The 2014 Cal Poly Rugby Club Photo

The 2014 Cal Poly Rugby Club 

“This was an incredibly hard decision for me, I’ve had a fantastic time being a part of this University and Rugby Club and am just so grateful to have had the opportunity,” Burnett said. “All good things have to come to an end unfortunately, but I know this is the best time for me to move on.”

Since arriving in San Luis Obispo, Burnett has guided the Mustangs to two D1A post seasons (including the semifinals in 2013), three consecutive top 12 finishes in the USA Rugby College 7s National Championships, and a historic win over Cal in 2012 that broke the Golden Bears’ 63 game winning streak. “Dave was touted as an attack specialist coming into the program.  His extensive on-field experience at back-row and center, match analysis and expansive game tactics, both challenged and empowered players and staff on a daily basis. Dave’s influence has strengthened our program in both 7’s and 15’s and will pay dividends in the years to come,” said former head coach and Mustang Rugby Inc. Director Charles Zanoli.

The Mustangs 1st XV before the 2013 D1A Semi Final against St Mary's College. Photo Karen Drinkwater

The Mustangs 1st XV before the 2013 D1A Semi Final against St Mary’s College. Photo Karen Drinkwater

Utilizing his background in sports administration, Burnett has brought considerable growth to the off field operations of the club including an increase of 70% in club participation numbers and an 85% increase in club fundraising revenue. Doug Smith, Director of Mustang Rugby Inc., the not-for-profit support foundation of the Cal Poly Rugby Club, commented, “Dave was very instrumental in improving relations with the University Administration during his tenure.  One of our top objectives going forward will be to continue to develop that relationship.  Dave was extremely creative and interactive with Alumni and Parents; which certainly helped in our fundraising efforts the past three years.  The entire Cal Poly Rugby community is saddened to see Dave resign and return to Australia. We wish him all the success in the world and hopefully our paths will cross in the future.”

“I would like to thank all the people who have supported me during my time at Cal Poly, in particular Doug Smith and Charles Zanoli from Mustang Rugby Inc. I’ve made a lot of life-long friends in this beautiful area and have been fortunate enough to coach some tremendous young men,” Burnett said. “I don’t have any regrets and leave with nothing but positive feelings now that it’s all over. It has not been without its challenges, but one can say that about any endeavor or business that has tried to grow beyond its initial foundations.

“I look forward to the day when all American universities grant rugby varsity sport status and embrace the game for the incredible global, professional game that it is.

The Cal Poly 7s team finished 8th at the 2011 USA Rugby National Championships. Photo Mike Nunno

The Cal Poly 7s team finished 8th at the 2011 USA Rugby National Championships. Photo Mike Nunno

“To know that one of our collegiate rugby players could graduate and be a professional rugby player abroad, play for the USA at a World Cup, and be an Olympic athlete, well, for me that trumps football, baseball, and basketball combined. I just hope that the Cal Poly administration is the next to take the leap of faith into rugby in the USA,” Burnett added.

The Cal Poly Rugby Club officers and Mustang Rugby Inc. directors have already begun an international search for Burnett’s successor but nothing has been finalized at this stage. “We’ve made some excellent contacts both domestic and abroad in recent weeks, and are confident that we’ll have a quality successor in the near future,” said Zanoli.

Anyone interested in the position of Head Coach of the Cal Poly Rugby Club can email Charles Zanoli at czanoli@calpolyrugby.com for a copy of the job description.

Red Wolves too Strong for Mustangs

May 20th, 2014
Scrumhalf Thomas Leacox clears the ball from the ruck. Photo Mike Nunno

Scrumhalf Thomas Leacox clears the ball from the ruck. Photo Mike Nunno

The Cal Poly Rugby Club bowed out of the D1A Playoffs last month after a hard fought 43-12 loss at the hands of a big and powerful Arkansas State side.

The men from San Luis Obispo had a tough lead into the match with a full day of traveling to get to Jonesboro Arkansas. The trip included a three-hour drive to LAX, six hours of flights and transfers to get into St. Louis Missouri, followed by a four drive to Jonesboro, getting the team in after midnight the night before the match. This heavy travel load wasn’t enough to dim the excited of the Mustangs as they woke for their second D1A final 8 appearance in two years.

Cal Poly forwards Mickey O'Crowley & Joe Cremen do their best to contain the powerful Arkansas State forwards. Photo Rich Carvell Ark State.

Cal Poly forwards Mickey O’Crowley & Joe Cremen do their best to contain the powerful Arkansas State forwards. Photo Rich Carvell Ark State.

Beautiful conditions and a great playing surface greeted the two quarterfinalists, but the Mustangs excited was quickly transformed into pure focus when the home side raced to a 21-point lead only twenty minutes into the match. After the initial onslaught from the powerful Red Wolves side, Cal Poly did well to keep themselves in match with a well executed try to winger Matt Long at the back end of the first half. Set up by a strong Cal Poly scrum, what looked like a standard crash ball by outside center Will Campuzano turn into a beautiful backs try in the corner. On a hard unders line the nifty 13 popped the ball to his outside shoulder for racing weakside winger Mikey Micthell to burst onto. The subsequent pass to fullback Alex Frost and finally to winger Long gave Poly their first five pointer of the match.

Andy Early on the charge for the Mustangs. Photo Rich Carvell Ark State.

Andy Early on the charge for the Mustangs. Photo Rich Carvell Ark State.

Unfortunately for the visitors three run away tries to Arkansas State early in the second half ensured Poly’s chances of securing a semi final appearance would slip away. Not giving up for a single moment, the Mustangs conjured up a consolation try shortly before the full time whistle to replacement flanker Mark Grzanich after a clever turnover by replacement winger Nate Nunno.

Although dishearten knowing the loss meant an end to the Cal Poly Rugby season for 2013-14, the Mustangs know this match and their preparation for this playoffs campaign, will hold them in great stead for next season.

Cal Poly Flyhalf Kelii Dominguez doing all he can to escape the Red Wolves defense. Photo Rich Carvell Ark State.

Cal Poly Flyhalf Kelii Dominguez doing all he can to escape the Red Wolves defense. Photo Rich Carvell Ark State.

In a year riddled with injuries to Cal Poly’s most promising and in form players, young Mustangs such as freshman tighthead prop Eddie McFarland, freshman outside Will Campuzano, sophomore wing turned flyhalf Kelii Dominguez and first year rugby player Nathan Sylvia, all stood up performed above and beyond the standard required to ensure the Rugby Club didn’t take a backward step and charged into the post season.

Mustang winger Nate Nunno does hold back against his Red Wolves counter park. Photo Mike Nunno

Mustang winger Nate Nunno does hold back against his Red Wolves counter park. Photo Mike Nunno

2014 Cal Poly Rugby D1A Season Highlights

May 16th, 2014

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Rugby Club Advances to 2nd round of D1A Playoffs

April 26th, 2014
Freshman wing Matt Long on his way to the try line for the first of four times against Wyoming. Photo Leanna Long

Freshman wing Matt Long on his way to the try line for the first of four times against Wyoming. Photo Leanna Long

by Adriana Catanzarite Special to Mustang News

Cal Poly’s club rugby team defeated the University of Wyoming last week in the first round of the Division 1A playoffs to advance to the quarterfinals on Saturday.

After Wyoming tied the match at seven in the early going, No. 6 Cal Poly rattled off 39 straight points to seal the win.

The Mustangs will play against Arkansas State University, ranked third in the country, in Jonesboro, Ark. Last year, Cal Poly made it to the semifinals before losing to St. Mary’s. According to team captain Alex Frost, the Mustangs are looking to go all the way this year.

“It’s going to be a hard-fought game,” Frost said. “But we’ve worked hard this year, and I think we have a good chance to move forward.”

The sport originated at Cal Poly in the 1960’s. A football player helped to create the club rugby team after suffering an injury that prevented him from continuing his gridiron career. More recently, the club has been a ranked in the top 10 nationally for the past three years.

David Burnett, the head coach since 2011, said its a testament to the focus and determination of the team and the coaching staff that they’ve made it this far. Burnett said the aim is for the athletes to play an intelligent game in order to win.

“We just have to be very clinical in everything we do,” said Burnett. “We have to take every single opportunity on offense and we have to have a strong defense. Defense wins championships, it doesn’t matter what sport it is.”

 

Special Offer – “Rugby” 1917 by Andre Lhote

April 24th, 2014

 

imageThrough a rugby enthusiast, the Cal Poly Rugby Club has recently acquired a number of the beautiful modern art print Rugby by French painter Andre Lhote. Born July 5, 1885, in Bordeaux, France, Lhote was a painter, sculptor, writer, and teacher of modern art.

Rugby (1917), with the original currently sitting in the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, is a good example of Lhote’s methods and ideas: the geometrical transcription of figures or objects, the clear articulation of planes through contour and color, subtle composition, emphasis on movement and intelligibility of style.

To assist Mustang Rugby Inc. in raising funds for Cal Poly Rugby’s Postseason, these prints measuring 3.5′ x 2′, will be sent to you as gift for a donation of $150 or more.

To take advantage of this offer, please print and mail in the order form found here Rugby by Andre Lhote Order Form

If there are any questions please email email Charles Zanoli

 

Fundraising Playoff Tees & Tanks on Sale Now

April 21st, 2014
2014 Playoff Tee $20

2014 Playoff Tee $20

2014 Playoff Tank $20

2014 Playoff Tank $20

First Round D1A Playoff Review

April 18th, 2014
Christian Alexandre & Nathan Sylvia congratulate Taylor Honnette after scoring against St Mary's. Photo Karen Drinkwater

Christian Alexandre & Nathan Sylvia congratulate Taylor Honnette after scoring against St Mary’s. Photo Karen Drinkwater

By Alex Soloman USA Rugby BOULDER, Colo. – Teams seeded five through eight for the 2014 D1A Playoffs will all be on the pitch this Saturday to determine who will move on to the National Quarterfinals.

The higher-seeded team will host the matches, all of which are interconference games. Team’s financial limitations prevent many programs from traveling great distances to compete against D1A teams from other regions of the country. The D1A playoffs will help determine the strength of conferences, and of course the individual teams competing for a National Championship.

Here is a closer look at Saturday’s first round matches:

Cal Poly vs Wyoming 

Following an impressive 31-19 win over Air Force, Wyoming is in the midst of a three-game losing streak. The Cowboys lack experience, so traveling to California for a playoff match may be trouble for a side that is still wet behind the ears.

Cal Poly has regrouped well following its 31-28 loss to Santa Clara. With recent wins over Dartmouth, Sacrament State, and San Diego State, the Mustangs should have a fair amount of momentum when Wyoming rolls into San Luis Obispo. Also, several players on the Cal Poly side reached the semifinals of the 2013 D1A playoffs, giving the Mustangs far more meaningful experience than its first-round opponent.

Players to watch:

Inside center Andy Early has been in top form this winter 15s season. Photo Karen Drinkwater

Players to Watch: Inside center Andy Early has been in top form this winter 15s season. Photo Karen Drinkwater

Andrew Early, Cal Poly: The Mustangs have game-breaking runners in Will Campuzano and Matt Long, while Early is more of a bruiser from his inside center position. Cal Poly should feel confident in its abilities to outplay Wyoming straight up and avoid risking extra passes to get the ball to the edge. If Early is breaking the gain line, the Mustangs should be comfortable giving him the ball early and often, knowing its more experienced side will overtake Wyoming over 80 minutes.

Alex Knowles, Wyoming: Playing a position that requires experience, flyhalf Alex Knowles is one of the more knowledgeable and talented players on the Wyoming roster. His play will be crucial to the Cowboys’ ability to hang with Cal Poly. It would be beneficial to Wyoming’s chances if Knowles can feed his dangerous center, Bobby Watckins, whenever he has a chance.

Read More Click Here

 

Mustangs into D1A Postseason with wins over SDSU & Sac State

April 17th, 2014
Anthem SDSU

The Mustangs sing the national anthem at SDSU. Photo by Leanna Long

The Cal Poly Rugby Club are on their way to the D1A Postseason after finishing the regular season with solid wins over Sac State and SDSU earlier this month.

The Mustangs will host the University of Wyoming from the D1A West conference this Saturday evening at 6pm, with the winner advancing to the National Championship Quarter Finals against Arkansas State the following Saturday.

After returning from their five day Spring Break Tour of Utah for a cross conference match with 2013 Varsity Cup champs BYU, Cal Poly were confident they could finish the D1A regular season on a winning note.

“There’s no doubt the tough losses in the first few weeks of March hurt, but myself and the entire Cal Poly Rugby community couldn’t be more proud of the way the boys bounced back and took the game to BYU up at altitude and in the snow of all conditions” said Coach Burnett

Mustangs Captain Alex Frost agreed the Spring Break tour was a big success “The BYU trip really brought us together as a team and showed us that we can not only play with but get on top of the best sides in the country.”

Cal Poly's driving maul has been a force to reckon with this season. Photo Leanna Long

Cal Poly’s driving maul has been a force to reckon with this season. Photo Jan Piper

On the first weekend of the spring quarter in San Luis Obispo the Mustangs secured a 36-10 win over a much-improved Sac State side. As at BYU it was the Poly forward pack that led from the front, dominating the scrum and scoring two driving maul tries off the lineout. The pack scored five of the six tries for the home side on the day, touching down was flanker Mark Grzanich, hooker Kyle Castaneda, lock Nathan Sylvia and 8 Man Aaron Arenas who score a double from the driving mauls.

For the last match of the regular season the Mustangs traveled to SDSU, a venue that has been unforgiving for the men from San Luis Obispo in the past. Up until last season Cal Poly hadn’t beaten SDSU home or away in five years.

Lock Joe Cremen on the charge against Sac State. Photo Jan Piper

Lock Joe Cremen on the charge against Sac State. Photo Jan Piper

The 2nd XV gave the visitors a terrific start to the evening’s matches notching up 75 points to the Aztecs 2nd XV zero. Tighthead prop Drew Meulman led the score sheet with five tries, a try count unheard of for props around the world.

Playing in front of a vocal crowd at 7pm, the SDSU 1st XV came flying out of the blocks with big defensive tackles and real physicality at the breakdown. Holding strong and playing a well-executed kicking game, the Mustangs drove themselves down into the Aztecs quarter.

2nd XV prop Drew Meulman on his way to the try line. Photo Leanna Long

2nd XV prop Drew Meulman on his way to the try line. Photo Leanna Long

For the third consecutive match it was the Mustangs dominant driving maul from the lineout that gave the visitors the first points of the game.  Openside flanker Matt Ryan got the five points and fullback Alex Frost kick the conversion for a seven nil lead. From there both the Cal Poly forward pack and backline got the better of their D1A opponents in their respective arenas. The pack or “Core” as its known by players numbered 1 through 8 took the Aztecs possession at the scrum & lineout, and the let the backs finish the job. Tries to flyhalf Kelii Dominguez, fullback Alex Frost and local inside center Andy Early took the game out of reach of the home side shortly after the haft time break, and the Mustangs finished on a high with a try to hooker Kyle Castenda in the 73rd minute of the match. Final score Cal Poly 31 – SDSU 10.

Prop Mickey O'Crowley & flanker Christian Alexandre take on the SDSU forwards head on. Photo Leanna Long

Prop Mickey O’Crowley & flanker Christian Alexandre take the SDSU forwards head on. Photo Leanna Long

Captain Alex Frost said “The team was very happy to get the win at SDSU to lead us into the playoffs. We played some great rugby in patches and we were able to work out the kinks on some of our offensive and defensive plays as well.”

This Saturday evening against Wyoming, Cal Poly will be coming out full of confidence and excitement knowing that a win could see them through to the D1A National Championship elite 8.

“Its great to play against a team (Wyoming) we’ve never faced before. That unknown element will bring a lot of excitement to the match but we know we’ll need to be vigilant and respectful as well to ensure the win.”

Kick off against Wyoming is at 6pm at the Cal Poly Rec Fields. Entry is free and there will be FREE hotdogs for Cal Poly students between 5:30-6:15pm.

Cal Poly will need another strong home crowd for this Saturday's playoff match against Wyoming. Photo Karen Drinkwater

Cal Poly will need another strong home crowd for this Saturday’s playoff match against Wyoming. Photo Karen Drinkwater

Mustangs Win the Battle but Lose the War at BYU

March 29th, 2014
The first time in 22 years it has snowed during a BYU rugby match in Provo.

The first time in 22 years it has snowed during a BYU rugby match in Provo.

In the rain, hail, and snow of Provo Utah on Wednesday night, the Mustangs went down 37-22 to #3 BYU in an epic match not soon to be forgotten by either team. Cal Poly came flying out of the blocks and stunned the home side with a 10-nil lead six minutes into the match, but when BYU gained the lead and the heavens opened up to coat the field in snow, Cal Poly couldn’t get enough points back on the board to get the win.

Wrapping up one of the hardest four-week schedules in collegiate rugby this season, the Mustangs traveled to Utah earlier this week to take on #3 BYU in Provo. The match against the 2013 Varsity Cup Champions BYU signaled the end to an arduous month that saw Cal Poly take on #1 St Mary’s, #2 Cal, Santa Clara and Ivy League Champions Dartmouth in back to back matches.

In his first year of Rugby, rookie lock Nathan Sylvia has stepped up to the Mustangs 1st XV.

In his first year of Rugby, rookie lock Nathan Sylvia has stepped up to the Mustangs 1st XV.

The Mustangs have come through the period a little worse for wear with 1st XV starting flyhalf Taylor Honnette, prop Phil Davidovich and flanker Christian Alexandre sustaining season ending injuries early in the month. These young men will unfortunately join fellow 1st XV starters; prop Eric Parsons, outside center Max Tacket & lock Wyatt Esola in the stands for the rest of the spring.

Testament to the strength and depth of the Cal Poly program in 2014, young Mustangs such as freshman tighthead prop Eddie McFarland, sophomore wing turned flyhalf Kelii Dominguez, rookie lock Nathan Sylvia and freshman outside center Will Campuzano have not only filled the cleats of their injured teammates, but excelled in the green and gold jersey against some of the most dominating opponents in collegiate rugby.

Cal Poly practice at beautiful Sugar House Park in Salt Lake City.

Cal Poly practice at beautiful Sugar House Park in Salt Lake City.

 

Arriving into Salt Lake City four days earlier to prepare and acclimatize to the high altitude conditions, the Cal Poly boys enjoyed a mixture of practice and sightseeing in some of Utah’s most iconic locations.

When match day came around the visitors were more than pumped for the immense challenge ahead and the men from California made a lightening start just 2 minutes into the match. With an attacking lineout ten meters out from BYU’s line, hooker Eddie McFarland nailed the throw to the back which sent the Mustangs pack galloping towards the line in a well formed driving maul. The stunned BYU forwards couldn’t do anything to slow the momentum of the maul and when vice captain John Joe Murphy touched the ball down, the Mustangs had just the start the were looking for. The successful conversion to Alex Frost and a penalty kick only a few minutes later gave the men in green a 10-nil before the home side realized what hit them.

Cal Poly sing the national anthem.

Cal Poly sing the national anthem.

Not to be left wanting, the reigning Varsity Cup champs began their comeback shorty after scoring three tries in a ten-minute period midway through the first half. One to winger Jordan Lowry and two to Fijian outside center Josh Whippy.

Although the days leading into the match were warm and sunny, the conditions that arose 30 minutes into the match were something else entirely. What began as sideways rain turned to hail and then to snow, something that in the 22 years of BYU Rugby on campus has never happened during a match.

With the snow now really coming down the Cal Poly boys didn’t let off and after a 40-meter break from scrumhalf Thomas Leacox the visitors parked themselves in the BYU red zone.

Cal Poly stunned the home side with a driving maul try in the 2nd minute of the match.

Cal Poly stunned the home side with a driving maul try in the 2nd minute of the match.

Following three successive scrums and three successive penalties awarded to Cal Poly only meters out, it was Leacox again that created the chance for the tourists. Taking a quick tap the zippy number 9 raced past the retreating BYU forwards to set up winger Matt Long who crash over the line for the try. The try took the Mustangs to within four points of the Cougars.

Unfortunately for the Mustangs these were the last points to be scored in the first half. When winger Matt Long was taken into touch following a short dash down the left hand sideline, BYU’s South African scrumhalf Luke Mocke caught Cal Poly napping with a quick throw in to his New Zealand flyhalf Johnny Linehan. Linehan went on a surging run through the off guard Mustang defensive line to score under the posts for the last say of the half. Half time score BYU 24 – Cal Poly 15.

The snowy conditions were a first for the men from California.

The snowy conditions were a first for the men from California.

With the snow well and truly coming down, the biggest story coming out of the first half was the dominance of the Cal Poly forward pack. At every scrum encounter the Californian men had the usually formidable BYU forward pack on skates, shocking the BYU fans, commentators and no doubt coaches. This is a tremendous effort for the Mustangs tight five that boasts only one returner from the 2013 1st XV. Great payoff for the hard work of the new players and scrum coaches Charles Zanoli and Peter Madonna.

Cal Poly destroyed the heavier BYU scrum.

Cal Poly destroyed the heavier BYU scrum.

With a substantial layer of snow on the pitch in the second half both sides struggled to gain any attacking continuity. Both sides had to resort to tight rugby tactics and it was BYU who scored first early after the break with a pick and go try meters from the Poly line.

Cal Poly answered back with a pick and go try of their own following a clever box kick from Leacox gave the Mustangs the territory they needed to convert pressure into points. Attempting a push over try the Cal Poly pack got within inches of the BYU line but the scrum was moving too fast for 8 man John Joe Murphy to control. Taking the ball off the back Murphy made an unsuccessful charge to the line but two phases later his San Francisco teammate Joe Cremen extended his long arms to ensure the Mustangs were still in the hunt.

Scrum BYU 2

Another dominate Cal Poly scrum led to the try of Joe Cremen.

With fatigue setting in in the icy conditions it would seem the final quarter of the match would be determined by the team that could control the possession and territory stats. A strong kicking game kept the Cougars inside the visitors half and with continued pressure at the breakdown led by BYU’s Australian openside flanker Jordan Wilson, the home side capitalized with two successful penalty kicks that extended their lead to 15 points.

That lead would prove to be too much for the Mustangs to overcome and the final score stayed at 37-22. Although beaten in the match, the men in green came off the field knowing they gave everything they had and more, in horrendous conditions and put a championship side under immense pressure the likes the home side has not experienced in many years.

With two weeks left in the D1A regular

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season, Cal Poly in 8th place take on Sac State in San Luis Obispo on April 5th and SDSU in San Diego on April 12th. Successful results in these finals rounds will give the Mustangs a home playoff play in match on April 19th against the likes of Santa Clara, Wyoming or Michigan. The winner of that match will travel for a quarter final match up against St Mary’s, Life Univ, Arkansas State or Lindenwood Univ.

 

 

 

Mustangs Get the Win Over Rugby 7s Rivals Dartmouth

March 29th, 2014

The Mustangs played host to the Dartmouth Big Green in SLO last Wednesday night whilst they traveled down the Californian coast on their 2014 spring break tour. The locals put on a couple of days of beautiful central coast weather for the men from New England who were in dyer need of some sunshine after the brutal north east winter.

2nd XV flyhalf Nishant Mattu spreads the ball in a tight match against Dartmouth. Photo Phil Bezouska

2nd XV flyhalf Nishant Mattu spreads the ball in a tight match against Dartmouth. Photo Phil Bezouska

Although located in opposite corners of the country, the Cal Poly & Dartmouth Rugby Clubs’ have developed themselves quite the rivalry in recent years particularly in Rugby 7s. Last fall at the 2013 USA Rugby 7s National Championships, the Mustangs & the Big Green found themselves in Pool E for the second year in a row. Dartmouth, a first rate Rugby 7s team with two CRC 7s Championships in their name, had to fight back from 12 point deficit against Cal Poly in the last match of Pool E. With the help of current Eagles 7s player Madison Hughes the Big Green pulled off an epic win after the final whistle.

Now well into the 15s seasons these first class Rugby universities played out two matches beginning at twilight last Wednesday evening at the Cal Poly Rec Fields.  The first match between the college’s 2nd XV sides saw the home side hold off the tourist in a low scoring nail biter. A try each was scored in the first half and only the successful conversion by Mustangs flyhalf Corey McGrillen was the difference for the duration of the match.

New Flyhalf Kelii Dominguez awaits the ball. Photo Phil Bezouska

New Flyhalf Kelii Dominguez awaits the ball. Photo Phil Bezouska

Both sides played attacking rugby from inside their own halves but each teams’ defensive efforts matched their opponents offensive prowess. Dartmouth had two long-range penalty shots inside the final quarter of the match but they came up short and the Mustang’s 2nd XV held on for a 7-5 victory.

After the sun set behind Bishops Peak the 1st XV teams took the field and put on a quality, fast paced high scoring match for the healthy home crowd. Although the visitors scored first, Cal Poly gain control shorty after and came away with a five tries to three win.

Inside center Andy Early has been a consistent performer for the Mustangs this March. Photo Phil Bezouska

Inside center Andy Early has been a consistent performer for the Mustangs this March. Photo Phil Bezouska

The Mustangs played a much more control game in this mid week encounter than in their narrow lose the Saturday before to Santa Clara and it showed with well worked tries to hooker Kyle Castaneda, outside center Will Campuzano, winger Derek Morefield, new flyhalf Kelii Dominguez and flanker Matt Ryan. Dartmouth showing real intensity with ball in hand and a smart offloading game also put on three quality tries for the spectators.

All in all a great tour match in which the Californians will look to repay their New England rugger mates in the seasons ahead.