It was a tough day at the office for the Mustangs last Saturday against Cal in Berkeley. Both the 1st & 2nd XV suffered significant losses to the Bears who were physically dominant all around the park.
The 1st XV clash was a fast paced match that got away from the Mustangs very early on. The strength, speed and agility of Bears were the notable differences between the sides. Cal Poly defended well in patches and made a few line breaks in attack but fail to capitalize with points on the board.
“Obviously a disappointing match for us, there was certainly no complacency from Cal this year” said Mustang head coach Dave Burnett. “I think it’s a good illustration of the heights a professional varsity side like Cal can get against a club side.”
The match was also marred with a few injuries to the Mustangs. Fullback Alex Frost broke his wrist within the first ten minutes of the match and will miss the rest of the season. Midway through the second half Cal Poly also had to replace flyhalf Taylor Honnette, inside center & co-captain Andy Early and outside center Max Tacket with mild injuries. These players will be back on the field in the next couple of weeks. Final score Cal 112 – Cal Poly 7.
Cal Poly will take on Stanford in their third Division 1A match of the season this Saturday 16th February. The match will be played at the beautiful Steuber Rugby Stadium on the Stanford campus. The 1st XV match will kick off at 2pm, followed by the 2nd XV match at 3:30pm.
Cal Poly Rugby have secured their second win of the Division 1A season and their first win over San Diego State in seven years. The Mustangs went toe to toe with the Aztecs in the first half but broke away in the second half to get the win.
The Aztecs started well and got the first points on the board through their outside backs. From there Poly built pressure slowly but surely midway through the first half with another dominant performance by their scrum and back three.
Cal Poly’s first try came in the 26th minute when flyhalf Taylor Honnette broke through the SDSU’s mid field defense, stepped past the fullback and offloaded in the tackle of the covering defense to find inside center Andy Early who scored under the posts to tie the match at 7 a piece.
The visitors regained the lead not long after Early’s try through some good counter rucking and a cheeky snipe down the smallest of gaps next to the ruck, but as Cal Poly did last weekend against UCSB, they found their way to the try line is the dying minutes of the first half. After a well executed backline play gave winger Jake Gersh a break down the far sideline, the home side built six phases in the middle of the park which was enough to create some space out wide for other winger Mikey Mitchell. Mitchell showed great strength to get through three Aztec defenders to score the try. Alex Frost’s conversion gave the Mustangs a 14-12 lead at the break.
With the first half being split two tries a piece, the second half was all Cal Poly. The home side didn’t waste any time getting down into in the Aztecs half. A long range punt from winger Mikey Mitchell forced SDSU back to a lineout five meters out from their try line. A few minutes later following subsequent pressure from the Cal Poly forwards, San Diego put up a middle field kick which was retrieved by fullback Alex Frost who sent winger Jake Gersh flying down the right side of the field. Gersh linked up with fellow winger Mitchell who in turn gave the last pass to outside center Max Tacket who dove over in the corner for the try. A brilliant Frost conversion from the sideline gave Poly an almost comfortable 21-12 lead.
The next period of the match saw the Aztecs with the majority of the possession and territory stats but unfortunately for the visitors they could not come away with any points as the Mustangs defense held strong.
Then to wrap up the game in almost identical fashion as they did last weekend against UCSB, Cal Poly found themselves with a scrum five meters out from their opponents line. Like last week the Mustang scrum, led by co-captain and tighthead prop Ben Crosby, was too strong and drove their way over the try line for a pushover try to 8-man Bobby McNeal. That was the game and an end to a seven year drought against San Diego State.
Cal Poly’s 2nd XV also enjoyed a solid 32-20 win on the Aztecs. Flying winger Nate Nunno, and centers Lucas Zender & Taylor Goodson were just three of the try scorers for Cal Poly on the day.
This weekend Cal Poly take on Californian rivals and national powerhouse Cal up in Berkeley. The Mustangs are looking to be the first team in recent history to beat the Golden Bears in consecutive season. Last February Cal Poly broke Cal’s 63 game winning streak in incredible fashion, scoring and converting a try in the last play of the game to win 22-20. The rugby club is calling on all Cal Poly supporters in the Bay Area to get down to Berkeley this Saturday 9th February to cheer on the Mustangs. Kick off is at 2pm at Witter Field on the Cal campus.
Take a look back at Cal Poly’s historic win against Cal in 2012.
Under the Friday night lights of UCSB’s Rob Field, Cal poly rugby triumphed over the UCSB Gauchos by a 34-10 margin. It was a hard-fought victory against a physical Gauchos side and a hostile crowd.
After only a few minutes from kickoff, the pumped up UCSB pack picked and drove their way to the try line for the first five-pointer of the match.
That early try to the home team was all the motivation the Poly boys needed to stake their claim in the match. Following a dominant Mustang scrum that almost led to a penalty try, rookie second-rower Ryan Vyenielo charged over the try line to get the visitors on the board.
It was from there that the Cal Poly back line got into the game through their back three combination of Jake Gersh, Alex Frost and Mikey Mitchell. This trio proved troubling for the Gauchos defense. Mitchell’s quick feet and strong fend got him around his opposite man and into the try zone for a dive under the posts.
UCSB made their way into Poly’s quarter late in the half but the visitor’s defense held strong. Then, with only seconds left on the clock, some quality counter rucking led to a Poly turnover and sprint down the field. Mitchell and Frost, with help from outside center Max Tacket, outflanked UCSB’s wide defense to score a fantastic 80-meter try. The half time scoreboard read 20 – 10 to Cal Poly.
The second half was as tightly contested as the first. It took the Mustangs thirty minutes to break the stalemate. New tighthead prop, Eric Parsons, drove past the Gauchos ruck defense to score under the posts and secure his team seven points.
The final nail in the coffin was a sweet one for the visitors and a back breaker for the UCSB fans. Poly dominance at scrum time finally paid out with an eight-man shove that took the Mustangs all the way to the try line. The conversion took the final score to 34 – 10 to the Mustangs.
Next Saturday is round 2 of the Californian Division 1A competition. Cal Poly host San Diego State in what will no doubt be another bruising encounter. The 2nd XV match will kickoff at 1:30pm with the main game beginning at 3pm on the Cal Poly Rec Fields.
The Cal Poly ruggers kept the UC Santa Cruz scoreboard attendant busy last Saturday as the Mustangs ran riot over the Banana Slugs. It was a warm and sunny day at the UCSC Rugby field that over looks beautiful Monterey Bay. Cal Poly’s 1st XV were 57-24 victors, while the 3rd XV had a dominant 63-7 win over the home team.
The Cal Poly 1st XV started the afternoon off and score quickly through a strong run by senior 8 man Bobby McNeal. The tries to the Mustangs came through in consistent fashion from there. Co-Captain Andy Early dived on the ball in the in goal after a UCSC kick was charged down by Tommy Leacox following a big Poly scrum. Early in the second half new winger Mikey Mitchell showed great athleticism sidestepping his way through half the UCSC team to score off a kick return.
Other standouts for the 1st XV included man of the match Kurt Drinkwater, who led by example with his work rate and communication around the field, and another Rugby newcomer in prop Drew Meulman. With only a few rugby games under his belt and playing his first 1st XV match, Drew showed great strength & speed with line breaks straight through the UCSC defense.
It was the big Cal Poly 3rd XV pack that did all the damage in their match against the UCSC Banana Slugs. Forwards Tyler Heuke, Gavin Hession, Eric Griffen & Justin Benson all scored a try each, while hometown hero Griffin Simmons score a hat trick.
The Mustangs play their first Division 1A match this Friday night at 8:30pm against UCSB in Santa Barbara. Also this weekend Cal Poly’s 2nd & 4th XVs will be hosting Cal State Long Beach on campus at 2pm & 12:30pm respectively. Don’t miss this great weekend of Mustang Rugby.
|1st XV vs UCSC||3rd XV vs UCSC 3rd XV|
|1pm Kickoff||2:30pm Kickoff|
|1||Ben Crosby ©||1||Will Thompson|
|2||Pat McCreesh (vc)||2||Pete Cramer|
|3||Eric Parsons||3||Kyle Miller|
|4||Joe Cremen||4||Graham Rolph|
|5||Ryan Vyenielo||5||Griffon Simmon|
|6||Kurt Drinkwater||6||Justin Trong|
|7||Matt Ryan||7||Aaron Arenas|
|8||Bobby McNeal||8||Justin Benson|
|9||Tommy Leacox||9||Tom Little|
|10||Taylor Honnette||10||Jack Brown|
|11||Mikey Mitchell||11||Aaron Wong|
|12||Andy Early ©||12||Nathan Fumia|
|13||Max Tacket||13||Tanner Jolly|
|14||Cody Perez||14||Ricky Riedl|
|15||Alex Frost||15||Dayton Hiles|
|16||Mick O’Crowley||16||Phil Davidoich|
|17||Chad Chamberlain||17||Gavin Hession|
|18||Drew Meulman||18||Tyler Heucke|
|19||Nate Shipley||19||Eric Griffen|
|20||Christian Alexandre||20||Phil Bezouska|
|21||Kelii Domingeuz||21||Carlos Clark|
Both matches are at the lower east field on the UCSC campus. Parking is in the East Remote Lot.