Cal Poly Mustangs Name James Tesoriero as New Head Coach

September 24th, 2014

San Luis Obispo, CA – The Cal Poly Mustangs Rugby Club is pleased to announce the hiring of new Head Coach James Tesoriero. Coach Tesoriero has an extensive background in rugby and coaching in his hometown of Sydney, Australia. Tesoriero has been coaching for over 10 years at various levels: from Sydney high schools, to his most recent position at Randwick Rugby Club of New South Wales (NSW) Rugby Union’s Premier competition. “We are very excited to be bringing in a coach that we believe will continue the trend of high quality of rugby at Cal Poly,” said Charles Zanoli, Director of Rugby Operations.

New Cal Poly Head Coach James Tesoriero (center)

New Cal Poly Head Coach James Tesoriero (center)

Tesoriero will also bring a great deal of rugby 7’s experience to California’s central coast. He has coached the NSW women’s 7’s team at Australia’s National Championship as well as the Northern Territory Men’s 7’s squad at International Club 7’s tournaments including Singapore and Gold Coast.

Former Head Coach Dave Burnett had a hand in the search and selection process, and has met with Tesoriero in Sydney several times to ensure a smooth transition. The Mustangs are looking forward to begin working with Tesoriero in late October. With the season fast approaching, Cal Poly is looking to build on the success of the most recent years: the team has had 3 consecutive top 12 finishes at the USA Rugby 7’s National Championship, two D1A Final 8 appearances in a row, and finished last season ranked #7 in USA Rugby’s top collegiate competition.

Mustangs Narrow Search for New Coach

August 18th, 2014

rugby club logoAfter the search began in late May, the Cal Poly Mustangs announced that they have narrowed their candidates for the vacant Head Coach position. “We’ve had over 40 experienced coaches, both domestic and abroad, apply for the position,” said Charles Zanoli, Director of Rugby for Mustang Rugby Inc. “We’re now evaluating the top 5 candidates, and hope to have our final selection in the next few weeks,” said Zanoli.

This announcement comes as the Mustangs are preparing for Fall 7’s and their 50th anniversary season. They will again be hosting the West Coast 7’s tournament on the Cal Poly campus which is set to feature some of the best collegiate rugby programs in the Western United States. Saint Mary’s, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, San Diego State, Santa Clara, UC Davis, Grand Canyon University, and UC Santa Barbara will all make the trip to San Luis Obispo for the October 11 tournament. A live stream of the day’s games will be available online with commentary by Canterbury’s Dallen Stanford.

West coast 7's banner

 

Max Tacket Selected for USA Hawks 7’s Squad

August 12th, 2014
Max Tacket dives over the line. Photo Karen Drinkwater.

Max Tacket dives over the line. Photo Karen Drinkwater.

Cal Poly rugby player Max Tacket has been selected for the USA Hawks 7’s team to compete in the 2014 Serevi Rugbytown Sevens at Infinity Park in Glendale, Colorado. He will join elite collegiate players from all over the country to compete in the 3 day tournament from August 15-17. The following is a press release from USA Rugby.

For Immediate Release
Submitted by USA Rugby
August 11, 2014

BOULDER, Colo. – USA Rugby announced its three teams to compete at the 2014 Serevi RugbyTown Sevens at Infinity Park in Glendale Aug. 15-17.

Tony Pacheco will coach the AIG Men’s Collegiate All-American Sevens, while new Men’s Eagles Sevens Assistant Coach Chris Brown and former Eagles head coach Al Caravelli will take charge of the USA Falcons and USA Hawks, respectively. Pacheco will be assisted by Evan Haigh, and Caravelli will have Eagle veteran and former High School All-American Sevens coach David Fee to call on as an assistant coach.

Pacheco’s All-Americans took home the $10,000 prize at the 2013 tournament with an undefeated record and victories against Bermuda, El Azul, Air Force, Tiger Rugby, and two against the hometown Glendale Raptors.

Only Shaun Potgieter of Arkansas State University and University of Delaware’s Glen Thommes return to Pacheco’s championship squad.

“I am excited to work with these student-athletes,” Pacheco said. “They represent some of the best in collegiate rugby.

“With 10 new players from last year’s squad we will need to use our time together efficiently to achieve success.”

The Falcons boast current and former Eagles Pat Blair, Andrew Durutalo, Nese Malifa, Ryan Matyas, Marcus Satavu, Pila Taufa, Maka Unufe, and Michael Ziegler. Perry Baker, one of the newest players in residency at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., was also selected to the team that lost out in the Bowl Final of 2013’s Serevi RugbyTown Sevens.

Arkansas State University scrumhalf and 2013 USA Rugby Emirates Airline College 7s National Championship Most Valuable Player Dillon Carrion is one of the Hawks’ 12 exciting players, which also includes Men’s Eagles High Performance Sevens camp attendee Tyler Coffman of Central Washington University.

Fifteen colleges are represented across the three teams, including D1A Finalists Saint Mary’s College and Life University.

Denver Sevens, Northeast ODA, Negro y Azul, and Glendale will also feature in Glendale with several Eagles Sevens candidates.

With the 2014 USA Rugby Emirates Airline Club 7s National Championship in Seattle, Wash., and Limerick World Club 7s in Ireland Aug. 9-10, and Premiership Rugby’s World Club 7s at Twickenham Stadium Aug. 16-17, there is no shortage of premier sevens rugby this month for players with Olympic aspirations.

San Francisco Golden Gate and New York City 7s represented the U.S. in Limerick, while New York will meet up with Elite City Sevens Champion Seattle in London for World Club 7s. Contracted Eagles and players in the national team pool make up the rosters for the three teams traveling across the pond, which will help build the pool’s résumé as the second Men’s Eagles High Performance Sevens camp draws nearer.

In selecting the MCAA, Falcons, and Hawks rosters, the goal of National Sevens Director Alex Magleby was to ensure the players with national team hopes were given the chance to play for a spot at the OTC, be it in Glendale, Seattle, Limerick, or London.

“There are plenty of opportunities for players to play their way into a future Eagles camp,” Magleby said. “We wanted to make sure the pool was covered as much as feasible where availabilities allowed, so some players were kept with their Olympic Development Academy or local club team for Club 7s or World Club 7s as opposed to bumping them into the Collegiate All-Americans, Falcons, or Hawks in Colorado.”

On top of the U.S. representative sides participating on three fronts, the United States is also sending men’s and women’s teams to the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, the first Olympics with Rugby Sevens on the Games Program. The 24 players between the ages of 16 and 18 will play for an Olympic medal beginning Aug. 17.

The Falcons and Hawks will open their Serevi RugbyTown Sevens campaigns against each other Friday, Aug. 15, at 2:28 P.M. MT, while the MCAAs will begin their title defense against the Royal Air Force at 3:34 P.M. MT. All matches at Infinity Park will be streamed live.

Follow @aarugby on Twitter for updates from the teams in Colorado.


AIG Men’s Collegiate All-American Sevens | 2014 Serevi RugbyTown Sevens

First Name Last Name School/Club Height Weight (lbs.)
Josh Bower Central Washington University & Seattle-OPSB 5’11” 185
Harley Davidson Life University 5’11” 180
Chris Frazier Northeastern University & New England Prime 6’3″ 225
Martin Iosefo University of Montana 6’1″ 215
Tonata Lauti University of Utah 5’8″ 175
Kingsley McGowan Saint Mary’s College 5’11” 195
Shaun Potgieter Arkansas State University 6’1″ 220
Joe Reavey Saint Mary’s College 5’9″ 180
Adam Sandstrom Arizona State University & Chicago Lions 6’3″ 210
Aladdin Schirmer Central Washington University 6’3″ 225
Seb Sharpe University of California Los Angeles 5’9″ 185
Glen Thommes University of Delaware & Schuylkill River 6’3″ 220

AIG Men’s Collegiate All-American Sevens | Coaching Staff
Tony Pacheco – Head Coach
Evan Haigh – Coach
Eric Taber – Manager
Brian Finn – Trainer

AIG Men’s Colleagiate All-American Sevens | 2014 Serevi RugbyTown Sevens
v Royal Air Force – Friday, Aug. 15 @ 3:34 P.M. MT
v Northeast – Friday, Aug. 15 @ 6:08 P.M. MT
v Denver – Saturday, Aug. 16 @ 1:06 P.M. MT


USA Falcons | 2014 Serevi RugbyTown Sevens

First Name Last Name School/Club Height Weight (lbs.)
Perry Baker Men’s Eagles Sevens & Columbus-1823 6’1″ 180
Pat Blair At Large 6’1″ 220
Andrew Durutalo Men’s Eagles Sevens & Seattle-OPSB 6’2″ 245
Valenese Malifa Men’s Eagles Sevens 5’10” 190
Ryan Matyas At Large 6’0″ 190
Don Pati Park City Haggis 5’7″ 180
Marcus Satavu New Haven Bulldogs 6’0″ 210
Pila Taufa Men’s Eagles Sevens 6’3″ 205
Ryan Thompson Tempe 6’2″ 200
Chris Turori OMBAC 6’4″ 225
Maka Unufe Men’s Eagles Sevens 6’2″ 200
Michael Ziegler Men’s Eagles Sevens & Columbus-1823 6’4″ 230

USA Falcons | Coaching Staff
Chris Brown – Head Coach
Paul Goulding – Manager & Analyst
Brian Green – Trainer

USA Falcons | 2014 Serevi RugbyTown Sevens
v USA Hawks – Friday, Aug. 15 @ 2:28 P.M. MT
v Negro y Azul – Friday, Aug. 15 @ 5:24 P.M. MT
v Bermuda – Saturday, Aug. 16 @ 12:00 P.M. MT


USA Hawks | 2014 Serevi RugbyTown Sevens

First Name Last Name School/Club Height Weight (lbs.)
Christian Adams American International College 5’9″ 215
Dylan Carrion Arkansas State University 5’6″ 150
Tyler Coffman Central Washington University 6’3″ 210
JJ Corpuz-Jackson American International College 6’2″ 233
Ty Elkins Columbus-1823 6’0″ 193
Brad Harrington University of California Berkeley 6’2″ 195
Bubba Jones Saint Mary’s College 5’9″ 200
Shawn Riley Notre Dame College 5’10” 190
Kenny Scott Kansas City Blues 6’4″ 210
Sam Sirrell University of California Los Angeles 5’11” 205
Max Tacket California Polytechnic State University 6’0″ 205
Jimmy Wolfer St. Joseph’s University 5’9″ 175

USA Hawks | Coaching Staff
Al Caravelli – Head Coach
David Fee – Coach & Manager
Brian Finn – Trainer

USA Hawks | 2014 Serevi RugbyTown Sevens
v USA Falcons – Friday, Aug. 15 @ 2:28 P.M. MT
v Bermuda – Friday, Aug. 15 @ 5:46 P.M. MT
v Negro y Azul – Saturday, Aug. 16 @ 12:22 P.M. MT

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.

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