Cal Poly Rugby has retained the Archibald Cup for the third successive year beating Chico State 33-15 in Chico on Saturday night. The Mustangs led for the entire match but were pushed by the home team right up to the end.
It was a jam packed Saturday night of Rugby at the Wildwood Park in Chico. Cal Poly traveled north with 42 players, running out three teams against Chico State and the local mens side the Chico Mighty Oaks.
Led by co captains Joe Cremens and John Joe Murphy the Cal Poly 3rd XV started well against the Chico State 2nds. The Mustang forward pack made yard after yard up the middle of the field to lay the way for twinkle toe wingers Neil Magnuson & Mikey Mitchell to score out wide. Chico staged a fight back mid way through the second half with a couple of tries of their own, but late in the game it was the Cal Poly forwards who took it up a notch and secured a 31-26 win. Rugby newcomers prop Drew Meulman and flanker Eric Griffen touched down for a try each in their maiden Rugby match.
It was a very physical encounter for the Cal Poly 2nd XV’s first match of the year against a strong Chico Might Oaks men’s side. The Mighty Oaks came out firing through their big pack and strong centers and took an early lead. The Mustangs built their way back into the game with some well executed backline plays finished off by outside backs Nate Nunno, Joeti Klein & Brent Mine. Again it was the new Mustang forwards that galloped home in the later stages of the match. Flanker Christian Alexandre scored his first 15s try of the season and second rower Gavin Hession finished off a terrific final play which started in Cal Poly’s own quarter and went through at least 10 sets of hands for the try. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to clinch the win, Cal Poly 2nds went down 30-24.
The sun was set and the lights were on for the main match of the evening, the Archibald Cup. Cal Poly found themselves with some good field position early in the match and capitalized with try to freshman flyhalf Taylor Honnette who deceived and dummied his way through the Chico defense to score just to the right of the uprights.
It was from here that Chico took back the field position & possession and camped themselves inside the Mustangs half. The Poly defense although tested right on the line held out and
limited the home team to just a three point penalty.
The game opened up in the second half with both sides touching down on a few occasions but it was the seasoned Cal Poly backs that closed the game out for the visitors. Replacement winger Nate Nunno showed great pace down the sideline to finish off some simple hands along the backline. Scrumhalf turned fullback Alex Frost scored a double, with the second a clever ‘chip n chase’ over the Chico centers to score in the corner and man of the match inside center Jake Gersh powered through a scattered Chico defensive line to run 40 meters to the try line. Captain Pat McCreesh had nothing but praise for his backline after the match “The guys played really well tonight and im very confident they’ll be a force to be reckoned with later this season.” McCreesh said.
The Mustangs ran out 33-15 winners in a game of great physicality, farness and spirit between two amiable and convivial Rugby clubs. The Cal Poly Rugby Club would like to thank Chico State and the Archibald family for putting on another tremendous day of Rugby.
Last Saturday the Cal Poly Rugby club also sent a squad of close to 30 players to UC Santa Cruz for their annual 15s Tournament. The Mustang 4th XV had a slow start to the tournament with a close loss to San Francisco State 12 – 5. Gino Valencia scored the only try for Poly.
Lead by flanker Jacob Garzini and backs Andy Osiadacz, George Meerts and Lucas Schorer, the Mustangs trampled over San Jose State with a 31-0 victory in the second match of the tourney.
The last match of the day was another tough one against a solid UC San Diego 1st XV. The San Diegans took an early lead in the first half but Cal Poly made their way back with big number 8 Nate Shipley breaking tackle after tackle up the middle of the field, but it wasn’t enough and UCSD secured a 25-10 win.
This weekend two Cal Poly 7s teams head to a tournament at UC Santa Barbara where they’ll face top SoCal teams UCLA and San Diego State. The 15s squad have a rest this weekend before traveling to Cal State Long Beach on the 3rd November.