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