The Mustangs returned from Christmas vacation, eager to take on one of the best Rugby programs in the nation, at St. Mary’s College, Saturday in Moraga. The game was intense from the first whistle, and Cal Poly came out hot in the first ten minutes. All American Flanker, Richard Herbert, put the Mustangs on the board first, breaking several tackles to stretch the ball over the try line. The Gaels were able to answer back, as they weathered the offensive onslaught and counter-attacked at crucial moments to even the score. Although, Cal Poly was the much bigger and stronger side, St. Mary’s was able to capitalize on the Mustangs mistakes, and make huge gains in counter-attacking. The score read 17-5 to the home team at half, and the mustangs came out hot again in the final forty minutes. Tries from Junior Prop Aaron Bordenave and new scrum-half sensation Colin Malcom, brought Cal Poly within four points with about twenty minutes left. However, seven times the Mustangs were within inches of scoring only to commit costly turnovers, and the Gaels were eager to swing the ball wide and test the young Cal Poly backline all day. In the end the Gaels proved to be too discplined on defense, and Cal Poly made too many errors to earn the victory. The game was an important learning step heading into the season for the mustangs. “I think that this game will show us what we need to work on in order to be ready for league,” said senior 8-man Alex Murchison, in his post-game news conference, “we have a lot of young guys stepping up this season, and I am excited to see how they do.” Senior captain Richard Herbert was openly disappointed with his teams inability to finish, “Those are tries we have to have,” he said after, “It just comes down to who wants it more. This was a game we easily could have won.” The loss has the Mustangs chomping at the bit to start league, and prove once again that they are still the most dominant program in Southern California.