April 30, 2011 - It was a perfect day to finish up the Gaels’ season at home against UCLA. The game started off relatively slow. The action didn't start showing until sophomore Garrett Brewer had a 30 meter run. After the great run at 27:14 Steve Cassinelli made the first try from a pass off from Garrett. UCLA didn’t react to the Gaels' 5-0 lead until ten minutes later with their first try and made kick giving them the lead at 5-7. UCLA’s continued as they scored their second try at 11:27 making the score 10-12. However, Mike Hayley was able to hold them back with his try before then end of the first try, giving the half time score 10-12.
At the second half, the Gael Ruggers came out strong. Kelly Harris made the first try off a ruck giving the Gaels the lead again 17-12. UCLA unfortunately retaliated bring the score back to tied game. Not far after Jake Holguin made his swipe through the try zone down the center giving them the lead again 24-17. At 20:00 UCLA tried to make a run at catching up to the Gaels, but were only able to score 24-22. Mike Haley keeps the Gaels’ spirits up by scoring from a pass by Matt Hensley. The freshmen Kingsley McGown and Joey Reavey had the last say for the game. They scored the last two tries giving the Gaels the win of 41-22.
On May 7, 2011 Gael Ruggers make their way to Arkansas for their first playoff game. Arkansas is ranked number 1 in the Mid-West. With a brief interview with the Gaels’ prop Nick Wallace he had this to say about the upcoming game: “It is what we have been preparing for the whole season. We played them last year in the first round and they took advantage of our misplay. We are expecting to come out and play our game, and be as aggressive as possible in the contact area. We are preparing as much as we can for the game but also for the time change. This week and next we are doing two-a-day practices. We start by waking up each morning at 6:45 to do a bit of work on our conditioning. Then in the afternoon we are on the field running patterns and working on our ball skills. We are treating this game like we do all the others, which is like were playing in the championship. It’s all do or die from here on out. Win you keep playing, and loose you're out!” After the UCLA game Head Couch Tim O’Brien had this to say for the upcoming game, “Arkansas is an experienced rugby team. We’re going to be playing on their home, where they haven’t lost a game for the past three years. The biggest thing to focus on is to reconfigure the team.” The Gaels have suffered some hard fall backs with injured plays. Potential All-American Tim Maupin broke his leg and is having surgery and Chad Clack has been having health issues as well. Therefore, reconfiguring the back line is one of the pain focuses for the team at this point.
By Gabriella Gaytan - Mares