Pat Madden Named Mark Loane Medalist

Freshman Flyhalf Patrick Madden has been awarded the prestigious Mark Loane Medal at a ceremony in New York last week. Awarded in honor of Dr. Mark Loane, former Australian Wallabies rugby captain and University of Queensland (UQ) alumnus, the Medal recognizes the outstanding potential of America’s best high school rugby player.

Cal Poly vs UC Davis in the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Fall Classic at Avaya Stadium on November 4, 2017 in San Jose , California. © 2017 Alex Ho ( aho_171104_2040_03 )

In response to receiving the award, Patrick is “extremely grateful for this opportunity and excited for what’s to come. I know I speak for both myself and my family when I say I’m happy to be in such good hands through this exciting process.”

Patrick founded, captained, and played rugby at his high school, University City. While there, he was named Player of the Week several times in the Goff Rugby Report. Patrick also started playing select-side rugby his freshman year of high school. He started with the Southern California Youth Griffins and then became one of the original and youngest players in the Eagle Impact Rugby Academy (EIRA), created by High School All-American (HSAA) Coach Salty Thompson. As captain, Patrick led EIRA to 7s and 15s national titles, received MVP in the Las Vegas Invitational Tournament, and won the Ramblin’ Jesters’ Young 7s Player of the Month award. Patrick joined the HSAA program his sophomore year for tours to France and Belgium. He also represented the HSAA and Stars and Stripes sides in both 7s and 15s on tours to Canada and in matches throughout the US. To top it off, Patrick was selected for the Men’s Junior All-American U19 team that played Canada at the Olympic Training Centre in the winter of 2016.

San Diego State over Cal Poly during the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Fall Classic at Avaya Stadium on November 5, 2017 in San Jose , California. © 2017 Alex Ho ( aho_171105_6258_03 )

Salty Thompson, who was on the Cal Poly campus last month for an (EIRA) camp, and who nominated Patrick for the Loane Medal, believes Pat has a huge future in the sport. He regards Patrick as “one of the most effective captains in HSAA history. Leader, excellent communicator and outstanding young man.”

As the recipient of the Loane Medal, Pat will be funded to train with the UQ Rugby Academy and play for the famous University of Queensland Rugby Club during summer 2018.

Patrick “can’t wait to get to UQ, meet [his] teammates, and experience the Australian rugby culture and university lifestyle.”

Cal Poly coach James Tesoriero speaks of Patrick’s award. “We followed Patrick’s high school career with close interest, and were delighted when he accepted his offer to study at Cal Poly. Not only is Pat an elite-level talent who projects to the very highest levels of rugby in this country, he is a quality young guy, and a good fit with our program. Beyond the recognition that he will receive from this award, we are excited at the opportunity for Pat to train and play in a high performance environment next summer with UQ in Brisbane”.

Since arriving in San Luis Obispo, Patrick has been playing a key role for the Cal Poly 7s team, finishing the Fall 7s season as the team’s highest point scorer. The Cal Poly 7s team played in division Finals at both of the West Coast Sevens tournaments in October, and finished fourth at the Silicon Valley Sevens in San Jose on the weekend (11/4 & 11/5).

San Diego State over Cal Poly during the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Fall Classic at Avaya Stadium on November 5, 2017 in San Jose , California. © 2017 Alex Ho ( aho_171105_6277_03 )

Later this fall, Patrick will represent the North American Lions, a team comprising the best 7s players in North America aged under 19 years. The Lions will participate in the Boys U19 Invitational bracket of the Dubai 7s — the series of events surrounding the World Series Dubai 7s, which runs from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2.

Cal Poly Sevens Finishes Fall Season with a 4th Place Standing at Silicon Valley Sevens

Cal Poly came into Day 2 of the Silicon Valley 7s tournament with a 1-1 record from the day before. It was a “win or go home” style tournament for the Mustangs now, and they did not want to be the first team to leave the stadium Sunday. Their first matchup featured an up and coming USC team who placed in the top 8 in the Treasure Island Sevens tourney a couple weekends back. USC came out strong, controlling possession early on and driving Cal Poly down the field. Poly held strong, refusing to let up a try, and eventually found themselves marching down the pitch to score their own. Apart from a try leaked off a penalty, Cal Poly displayed solid defensive efforts as well as a patient yet effective attack, resulting in a 12-5 victory.

Cal Poly’s next opponent was division rivals, San Diego State. Cal Poly started the game driving down the field on the Aztecs, working the ball side to side and recycling it with confidence. A turnover gave SDSU the ball, which allowed them to display their dangerous sideline-to-sideline passing and speed. The Aztecs proceeded to score multiple tries, putting the Mustangs down early. SDSU’s lead grew until it was too big for the Mustangs to come back from, with a final score of 27-10 favoring the Aztecs.

With the loss to San Diego State, Cal Poly finished 4th out of 8 teams for the tourney. This weekend culminated the fall portion of Poly’s sevens season. However, the Mustangs have their hopes up for a Nationals bid in the spring, giving them the opportunity to take home more hardware after XV’s season is complete. Cal Poly Sevens took huge strides forward this fall season, proving they can finish out close games and compete with top teams. Poly’s team also consisted of a very talented rookie class, which shows great signs of a solid future in years to come.

Photo Credit: Alex Ho / hoiho.net

One Win, One Loss on Day 1 of Silicon Valley 7s

The Mustangs had mixed results on the first day of competition (Sat 11/4) at the Silicon Valley 7s at Avaya Stadium, San Jose.

The team opened with a 14-10 win over UC Davis in a wet and messy start to the tournament. Cal Poly and UC Davis have met in Finals (plate and bowl) of consecutive West Coast 7s tournaments this Fall, and a healthy and respectful rivalry has formed. The Mustangs started well, scoring the first two tries to open a 14-0 lead, a significant score in such wet conditions. UC Davis fought strongly and finished with great intensity, scoring two tries to close the score to its final 14-10 tally, with only goal-kicking splitting the teams.

We faced another familiar opponent in match two, the University of Arizona Wildcats. U of A defeated our team in pool play at the Treasure Island West Coast 7s. Coach Tesoriero emphasized the importance of controlling possession against a team with such attacking firepower, however it was Arizona who controlled ball in the first half, and took a 17-0 halftime lead. Key players Alex Wormer and Pat Madden stepped up in the second half, each scoring tries and reducing the deficit to a score at 17-10. Arizona scored a late try to seal the match 22-10, a fair reflection of the run of play.

On day 2 (Sat 11/5) the Mustangs will play USC at 10:20am, in an elimination match. The double elimination format requires us to win four games in a day to win the Cup, with each match elimination. Certainly a tough prospect, but the team will enter day 2 with renewed energy, knowing that each game could be the final 7s match of the Fall.

Photo Credit: Alex Ho / hoiho.net

Women’s and Men’s Frosh/Soph Teams Play Stanford in Palo Alto

While the 7s team prepared for the Silicon Valley tournament in San Jose, the Freshmen/Sophomore and Womens 15s teams were hosted by Stanford on their scenic Palo Alto campus on Friday evening (11/3).

Confident after opening the season with a win last week, the Cal Poly ladies faced a very experienced and accomplished team which regularly competes in the National Championship, and is considered amongst the best teams in California. Although Stanford proved too strong and experienced, the game was highly competitive and the ladies were the better team for stretches of the match. Sidney Swney and Kahye Yu continued their impressive play, and newcomer Shelby Robinett was a standout in her first ever rugby match. Stanford finished 25-7 winners, but our ladies were proud of the performance and gained valuable experience against a quality opponent.

The men team comprised almost entirely of Freshmen for this clash against a similarly young and inexperienced Stanford team, missing its sevens players. The Mustangs freshmen core again showed great skill, aggression and attacking flair, posting 50 points in the first half. The playmaking trio of Satchell Collins, Kevin McNally and Frenchman Ander Zubidarry set a quick attacking tempo, providing the outside backs with opportunities to showcase their athletic talents. Louis Rampone and Mike Daly were the main beneficiaries, both scoring multiple tries and playing a highly entertaining style of rugby. For the second week, the forward pack provided excellent aggression and physicality, overpowering their opponents. The scoreboard moved more slowly in the second half, finishing 67-15 at full-time.

Women’s Team Display New GSE Construction Jerseys

The womens team ran out for the opening match of their second season sporting eye-catching new jerseys. The Cal Poly Rugby Club has recently welcomed GSE Construction as jersey sponsors of the women’s program and of the recent men’s team tour of Scotland.

GSE is a Californian-based company which has completed more than 600 projects as a general engineering contractor, specializing in water infrastructure. The company employs a number of Cal Poly Rugby Alumni, and is working with the club’s leadership to establish internship and employment opportunities for current Cal Poly Rugby players. VP of Field Operations Steve Mazza was recently on campus at Cal Poly as part of the career fair, and took the opportunity to meet with Head Coach James Tesoriero and present him the new jerseys.

 

Cal Poly Makes Strong Start to Fall Friendlies

Cal Poly Rugby Club has made a successful start to the Fall 15s season, winning in all grades against Fresno State in Fresno yesterday (Sat 10/28).

The women’s team, in only its second year of existence, won a competitive match by 6 tries to 3 against a deep and talented Fresno St team. A number of ladies played their first games of rugby and made very impressive starts. The veteran players such as Captain Liz Segars, halfback Rylee Birdsall, lock Elena Strom and flyhalf Kellie Cochran provided enough leadership and direction to allow the new girls to learn the game and make big improvements within the match. Despite limited preparation, the team’s defense was impressive, and the lineout was highly effective. Flanker Sidney Swney was outstanding, making numerous line-breaks and scoring two tries. Halfback Rylee was active in attack and defense, and poached several balls from Fresno players. Women’s President Jessica May regularly hit her lineout targets with highly accurate throwing. To place this win in perspective, the women’s team traveled to Fresno for the same match this time 12 months ago, and conceded almost 100 points in a mismatched loss. The ladies are seeing the results of much hard work.

Cal Poly Women’s 32 (Sidney Swney 2, Alyson Martin 2, Cassidy Butler, Elena Strom tries) def Fresno State 17.

Cal Poly men’s fielded a relatively inexperienced A Grade side. With the Sevens squad players unavailable for the weekend, many Freshmen and Sophomores filled out the A grade jerseys, and did so very capably. Coach Tesoriero asked his team for ball-security and width in attack and communication in defense, and was pleased with the way his team responded. “Friendly matches at this time of year are more about process than results, but we always keep an eye on the scoreboard to track our progress. Both the score and performance were pleasing. We were able to starve Fresno of possession, and the weight of possession allowed our attack to find its rhythm”. Bobby Kaehms was exceptional at center, providing a mix of playmaking and ball running, and scoring twice. Captain Eddie McFarland provided the team with composure and experience in addition to his typically bruising play. Second year flanker Jacob Rossner was surprisingly effective, showing the benefits of a big offseason, and rookie flyhalf Kirt Achterman carried over the great form he displayed in recent Sevens tournaments, and looks to be a very positive addition to the squad.

Cal Poly A Grade 49 (Bobby Kaehms 2, James Zanoli, Matt Hansel, Jerod Adams, Jasper Stone, Matt Hazelwood, Kirt Achterman tries, Penalty try) def Fresno State 10

The B Grade lineup was a truly inexperienced group, matched against a similarly raw Fresno St team. A number of players from both teams played their first rugby in this match. Our team also included several more experienced rookies, such as halfback Satchell Collins and flyhalf Kevin McNally, both of whom were exceptional in this match. Outside of these two, centers Andrew Jarboe and Malcolm Smith-Fraser had time, space and quality possession with which to operate, and each took advantage. The big men set the platform for this win, however. Powerful prop Matthew Salinas had a breakout game, punching big holes in the defense with his ball carries, and reminding some of former A grade prop Mickey O’Crowley. Fellow big men Ryan Sparks, Matt Kirby and Josh Hansell set the platform for this win with high work-rates and quality involvements. “Today we unearthed some new talent”, said coach Tesoriero. “It is always pleasing to see new guys entering the program and showing such athleticism and abilities. Today we saw a glimpse of the club’s future in our B grade match, and it is very exciting”.

Cal Poly B Grade 38 def Fresno State 10

 

West Coast Sevens SFGG Treasure Island Recap

As the two day tournament in the bay comes to a close, Cal Poly’s sevens team did not experience the results they had wished, but there were many positive aspects and moments to build off of moving forward. Overall, Cal Poly Sevens went 3-3, taking 10th place out of 16 teams. The team got dealt a tough pool which included University of Arizona and UCLA, finishing 2nd and 5th place respectively. The competitive pool accompanied by a lack of offensive possession led to Cal Poly Sevens not meeting its expectations.

Poly’s first match on Day 1 was against UCLA, an extremely underrated team due to their sub-par performance in the SLO West Coast Sevens tournament. UCLA controlled possession for nearly 100% of the first half, and after numerous goal-line stands from Poly’s defense, UCLA finally scored a pair of tries before half. By the time Poly started finding a rhythm on offense, it was too late, and UCLA finished with a 17-5 victory.

In Poly’s second match of the day, they faced the University of Oregon. Playing with a predominantly younger squad, Poly found life in its offense in route to a 42-7 victory.

The final match of Day 1 featured Poly vs the University of Arizona. After leaking an easy try off a turnover ball in the first seconds of the match, Poly found itself playing catchup for the rest of the way. Despite another strong defensive effort, Poly lost the match 22-5.

Due to the 1-2 record on Day 1, Cal Poly entered the bottom 8 bracket for Day 2, with their new goal being to win the bowl. The first match consisted of a young Poly team vs. Sonoma St. Poly scored early and often, leading to a 35-0 victory to start the day.

Poly did not slow down in its second game of Day 2 vs. the University of San Diego. Young players led the way again in this match, which resulted in another shut out in a 36-0 victory. Poly had its sights set on the bowl championship game.

The bowl championship featured a rematch of the plate championship at the SLO West Coast Sevens tournament, Cal Poly vs. UC Davis. The match started out with a dominating control of possession by UC Davis for most of the first half, but Poly held strong with numerous defensive stands. Poly put the first points on the board from a kick-and-chase nearly spanning the whole pitch. The defensive efforts ceased slightly at the end of the first half as UC Davis cut the Poly lead to 7-5. UC Davis came out in the second half dominating control again. Although Poly’s defense held strong for most of the game, the lack of offensive possession led to another UC Davis try, which proved to be the determining points. After a long, hard fought match, UC Davis outlasted Cal Poly 10-7 to win the bowl.

Cal Poly Sevens can build off of a strong defensive effort throughout the tournament as well as breakout performances from rookies Kirt Achterman, Kyle Hegarty and a consecutive positive outing for rookie Patrick Madden. Poly looks forward to continue improving to compete against the top notch teams it came so close to defeating.

Photo Credit: Alex Ho / hoiho.net, Pat Mulcaire

1977 MENS & 2017 WOMENS TEAMS RECOGNIZED, HIGGINS SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED, RON BASS AND LIN PRICE INDUCTED TO FOUNDERS CLUB–HIGH SCHOOL ALL AMERICAN COACH HOLDS TALENT ID CAMP AT CAL POLY

In a huge weekend for the club, the 2017 founders dinner was held Saturday (10/7) evening at the San Luis Obispo Legion Post, following the hosting of a highly successful West Coast 7s SLO tournament on campus.

At the Founders dinner, two teams were recognized for their contributions to the club. The 1977 team is regarded as one of Cal Poly’s great rugby teams and includes some of the club’s most influential men, including Founders Club members Charles Zanoli, Doug Smith, Marty Self and coach Phil Northcraft. The ’77 team won the prestigious Santa Barbara tournament, then consider the pinnacle of rugby on the West Coast. The team also made international headlines with their tour of Fiji.

The trailblazing 2017 women’s team were the first female team to compete as Cal Poly in the 50+ years history of the club. Coaches TJ Olsen and Jo Abshner highlighted the journey from formation to competitive rugby team all within a single year. The ladies were presented their jerseys by 1977 team coach Dr Northcraft.

Marshall Brusca and Nico Thayer were presented as winners of the Higgins Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded annually to the 2nd year back and forward who best represent Kevin Higgins’ legacy of rugby, academic success and clubmanship. Gary Higgins and several members of the Higgins family were on hand to present the award to Marshall and Nico, who will be receive a cash bursary and the opportunity to travel to Australia for Summer 2018 for a work internship and an Australia rugby season.

Ron Bass and Lin Price (both members of the ’77 team) were inducted into the Founders Club, recognizing their enormous contributions to Cal Poly Rugby. Ron Bass is familiar to those who have attended previous Founders dinners, he has catered and cooked at more than 30 of the club’s fundraising dinners, accounting for tens of thousands in fundraising money. Ron, who played with the club between ’76 and ’78, still lives in San Luis Obispo and remains involved with the club. The late, great Lin Price was a member of the 1977 team, and was inducted posthumously in the presence of his former team-mates. Lin was a large figure in the local rugby scene, as a Cal Poly great and as a member of the San Luis Obispo Rugby Club. In Lin’s name we compete for the annual Lin Price game between Cal Poly and SLORC.

To round out a showcase weekend for the club, High School All American coach Salty Thompson hosted an EIRA talent identification session on campus at Cal Poly on Sunday (10/8). Coach Thompson was assisted by Mustangs coach James Tesoriero and two of our club’s former EIRA graduates and High School All Americans, Senior Connor Cudeback and Freshman Pat Madden. Such talent identification camps are used as an entry point to the EIRA talent development program, and ultimately the High School All American program. Salty was happy with the young talent unveiled at this event, and plans to make the San Luis Obispo clinic an annual event.

 

 

CAL POLY DEFENDS HOME TURF AT WC7S SLO TOURNAMENT

The Cal Poly Rugby Club enjoyed a very successful home tournament in the first of two West Coast Sevens events. The club entered two teams, competing as Cal Poly in the Division 1 competition, and as Mustangs in Division 2. Both teams enjoyed highly successful tournaments, finishing a combined 6 wins and 1 loss in front of a large cohort of alumni, including most of the famed 1977 Cal Poly team.

Enjoying the strong home support, the Mustangs started with comfortable first up wins against the Gauchos (USCB B) and Broncos (Santa Clara B) teams in the Div 2 competition, scoring 9 combined tries and entertaining the home crowd. The final Div 2 match was far more competitive, facing a tough and athletic Claremont team. In the match’s closing moments Claremont led 17-12 with an attacking lineout deep in Mustangs territory. The Mustangs stole this lineout, fed Bill Campuzano for a midfield break and a try assist to James Zanoli, who ran 60m to score a game-tying try. Bobby Kaehms cooly iced the winning conversion to secure a 19-17 win and an undefeated day for the development team. Coach TJ Olsen praised the depth in the program and identified Chip Jones, Jake Heene, Matt Hansell and Justin Lego as standouts for the Mustangs.

Div 2 Results
Match 1- Mustangs 26 def UCSB 0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaEDTyzWRmA&feature=youtu.be
Match 2- Mustangs 31 def Santa Clara 0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoAo4TCSRJI&feature=youtu.be
Match 3- Mustangs 19 def Claremont 17 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPVqLUpMFQU&feature=youtu.be

In the top division, Cal Poly were drawn in a difficult pool, alongside a dangerous Fresno St and the powerful Cal. The Poly team was clinical and disciplined in their first pool match against Fresno, dominating possession with conservative attacking play. Off the back off this possession advantage, and displaying excellent conditioning, Poly scored multiple tries late in both halves for a comfortable 32-10 win. Next up in pool play was Cal. To beat an elite opponent, mistakes needed to be minimized an a complete performance required. Poly was unfortunately short of this standard at kickoff and the breakdown, which proved the difference in the teams, Cal winning 31-7.

With a win and a loss from pool play, Cal Poly qualified for the Plate Semi-Final against a tricky UCSB team. The two teams had played ‘friendlies’ the week prior, and only a golden point try gave us the win on this occasion. An early kick and chase from rookie Spencer Bazar set up Connor Miller for the first Cal Poly try. A second try seemed certain until a dropped ball led to a 90m UCSB breakout score. A quick tap and quick recycling led to Connor Miller’s second try of the half. Cal Poly regained the kickoff following the Miller try, were awarded another penalty and again quick tapped for a score, to take a 19-7 lead into the half time break. UCSB scored first in the second half, and at 19-12 late in the the game, the match was tight and tense. Alex Wormer stole ball from a UCSB ruck and scored a long-range try to provide some breathing room for a 26-12 win.

The team was thrilled to qualify for the Plate Final, yet understood the job was not yet finished. Despite both teams playing their fourth matches of the day, the first half was played at a high tempo, with few whistles and stoppages. The UC Davis defense proved difficult to unlock, until four consecutive offloads in contact led to a Brandon Puccini try. The second try came easier, Connor Miller dancing through the defense to score for 14-0 lead. A UC Davis try before the halftime break and two more after, gave Davis a slim 15-14 lead, however Davis missing all three conversions would prove significant. With the game in the balance, Alex Wormer again stepped up with the decisive play. Wormer made a long break down the sideline, was held in contact and threw a spectacular reverse flick pass to rookie Spencer Bazar, who sidestepped a defender to score the Plate-winning try.

Alex Wormer was brilliant throughout the day, providing leadership, playmaking and veteran decision-making. When a big play was needed to get us out of a hole, Wormer was at his best. Rookies Pat Madden and Spencer Bazar continue to impress in their early involvements with the club. Connor Miller was also a top performer, scoring numerous individual tries through the day.

Div 1 Results
Pool Match 1- Cal Poly 32 def Fresno St 10 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6nuxlYbUvU&feature=youtu.be

Pool Match 2- Cal 31 def Cal 7  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8huYCUkyAE&feature=youtu.be

Plate Semi Final- Cal Poly 26 def UCSB 12 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOy5rKm8FhY&feature=youtu.be

Plate Final- Cal Poly 19 def UC Davis 15 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvLJoycOY6w&feature=youtu.be

Cal Poly will take great confidence into the second West Coast 7s event in Treasure Island on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd of October. We hope to see all our supporters, family and alumni at SFGG for this tournament.

Cal Poly Rugby Club Completes Scotland Tour

The Cal Poly Rugby Club have completed an 11 day tour of Scotland, visiting and playing matches in Edinburgh, Oban and Glasgow.

While in Edinburgh, the group visited the Edinburgh Castle, toured Murrayfield Stadium, watched a local Premiership match, competed in a traditional Highland games competition and participated in a training session led by current Scotland International players Hamish Watson and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne.


On tour day 4 (9/4), the group toured Murrayfield Stadium, the home of Scottish Rugby. We received a behinds-the-scene insight into the match preparations for the Scottish rugby team, including spending time in the change-rooms and on the playing pitch. On the same evening, we played the University of Edinburgh, losing a competitive match against a team considered the strongest University program in Scotland. Alex Wormer, Ryan Cooper, Nate Sylvia and Eddie McFarland were the leading performers for the Mustangs.


Between Edinburgh and Oban, the bus trip detoured through the Highlands, where the group were educated on William Wallace and the Wars of Scottish Independence. We visited the Wallace Monument in the city of Stirling and enjoyed a Haggis lunch en route to Oban.


In Oban (Day 6- 9/6) an inexperienced team featuring many of our younger tour members played out a thrilling 41-39 loss to Oban Lorne Rugby Club. With seven tries each, goal kicking was the difference in the scoreline, and our team had opportunities to win late in the match but were held out by a tough and experienced opposition. No. 8 Jerod Adams scored his first ever rugby try in a strong individual effort. Isaac Stoll and Nico Thayer were also strong performers in the forward pack, while John Imobersteg tackled well above his weight from halfback and wing.


Day 7 (9/7) the boys completed a grueling yet enjoyable day of canyoning outside of Oban. The players scaled a river and waded through icy waters in a tough yet rewarding team-building day. The guys relaxed afterwards with a tour of the Oban whiskey distillery and a team dinner on Oban harbor. 

The tour group has completed the final leg of the tour in Glasgow, spending three nights in Glasgow and playing a final tour match against the University of Glasgow (Day 8- 9/8). We fielded a near full-strength team against the University of Glasgow, who are rated as one of the top University rugby programs in Scotland. 

In typically wet Scottish conditions, our team struggled to hold onto possession early, providing Glasgow with most of the early ball and field position. We found ourselves down 19-7 at the half-time break, with an Alex Wormer try and conversion our only points. Despite losing key forward Salvador Guevara to a nasty facial laceration just before halftime, the team felt we were still very much in contention at the break.

The Mustangs gained control of the match in the second half, off the back of a dominant scrummaging performance. With scrum ascendency, the team felt more confident throwing the ball around and as a result more passes started to stick, allowing us some continuity in attack. The Glasgow defense was very strong, however, and good enough to hold us out for most of the final half. With 10 minutes left in the match a very crafty and accurate cross-field kick from Corey McGrillen hit winger Marshall Brusca on the chest for a try. An unsuccessful conversion left us within a converted try (7 points) for the remainder of the match. We had a few opportunities to score a late try to even the match, but the University of Glasgow defense remained tough, and their more experienced players wound the clock down with repeated set pieces, for a disappointing but respectable 19-12 loss.


Day 9 (9/9) saw the group attend a Pro14 match between the Glasgow Warriors and Welsh team Ospreys. It was the first live professional rugby some of the guys had seen, and we were very impressed by the speed, physicality and skill level of the match, won by the hometown Warriors.


To conclude the tour, we spent our final day (Day 10- 9/10) enjoying a speedboat tour of Loch Lamond. We made a number of stops around the scenic Loch for lunch and some well earned beers.

The tour group travel home (Day 11- 9/11) weary, but in good sprits. Strong personal bonds were formed during our time away, we have learned many cultural lessons, and been immersed in a very high standard of rugby during the tour. We hope to take these experienced into the upcoming season, which promises to be a successful one for the Mustangs.