Men's Rugby Game Recaps and Articles



Gaels Defeat BYU and Are Headed for the Rugby National Championships

Saint Mary’s bested the Cougars 48–31 on April 20 and solidified their place as best in the west. On May 4 in Houston, they take on Navy for the national trophy. Read More.

Men's Rugby

Gaels Race Past BYU in Wild D1A Semi | Goff Rugby Report

Saint Mary's pulled away from the hard-charging BYU Cougars to win their D1A semifinal and book a place in the championship game May 4 in Houston. Read More.

Final Exam or Soup Recipe? BYU at Saint Mary's | Goff Rugby Report

It’s Finals Week at BYU and while the Cougars have been preparing for a D1A semifinal, they are also deep into preparing for important exams and term papers. Read More.

Gaels Achieve Astounding Win over Cal in Quarter-finals. Now It’s onto a Semi-final Match-Up Against the BYU Cougars.

Men’s Rugby defeated rival UC Berkeley in the quarter-finals by a resounding 34–16. Saint Mary’s hosts the Cougars in Moraga on April 20. And SMC’s Dominic Besag is a finalist for top collegiate rugby player in the country. Read More

Men's Rugby

Gaels Defeat Grand Canyon in the First Round of Playoffs.

No. 1 seeded Saint Mary’s scores a resounding 78–7 playoff win over the Lopes. Now the Gaels prepare for repeat carnage against the UC Berkeley Bears on April 13. Read More

D1A Playoff Matchups Confirmed |Goff Rugby Report
Men's Rugby
Image Credit
Photo courtesy Darren Yamashita, The Ultimate Sports Guide Magazine.
Men’s Rugby Defeats Cal and Is in Place to Take the No. 1 Seed Just in Time for Playoffs

In the largest outdoor Saint Mary’s Athletic event, the Gaels rally back for a spectacular 38–31 win against UC Berkeley Golden Bears. SMC has sights set on the national championship. Read more here.

Saint Mary's wins big one at BYU | Alex Goff Report

So you could argue they were looking for a challenge. And anyone thinking that the Gaels should be #1 in the D1A rankings needed to see them succeed in that challenge. Read more here.

2024 Rudy Scholz Nominees

The Rudy Scholz Award is awarded to the best men's collegiate rugby player in the nation every year. Erich Storti MA'24 and Dominic Besag '26 have been nominated.  Read more and vote for the awardee here. 

SMC 109  - SDSU 12


By Forrest Page '25 | Final Score: SMC 109 SDSU 12

After a successful win against San Luis Obispo last weekend, Saint Mary’s faced off against SDSU on Saturday, March 9th, 2024, at their Saint Mary’s Stadium. From the kickoff, it was clear that both teams were ready for a competitive day of rugby.  Saint Mary’s gained early possession and appeared to be on track to their first try of the match before turning the ball over due to a penalty called in favor of SDSU.  SDSU gained possession and managed to infiltrate the Gael’s 22-meter line by utilizing strategic kick placement.  SDSU failed to score this time around but kept at it.  Spectators are kept on their toes as SDSU inches closer to the try zone due to an impressive chip kick that could have resulted in a try for San Diego.  San Diego found themselves surrounded by the Gael’s strong defense on all parts of the field.  The game’s momentum took a turn as SDSU’s line speed diminished.  The Gaels' double tackles created an impenetrable wall of defense until they regained possession.  At the 31-minute mark, Saint Mary’s seized the opportunity, spreading the ball wide to a gap in the SDSU defense that led to a try by #15 Mario Storti.  Mario Storti beautifully executed the conversion as he did for most conversions kicked in the first half. With quick passing and smart movements, the Gael’s continued to dominate all over the field.  Saint Mary’s #13 Eric Storti followed up with another try at the 28-minute mark, capitalizing on a penalty and well-executing maul by the forward pack. Throughout the first half, both teams demonstrated impressive skill and vision, but a series of knock-ons disrupted Saint Mary’s momentum, preventing potential tries. However, Gael’s #11 JT managed to break through SDSU defense, displaying exceptional agility and skill as he flew down the wing barely keeping his feet in bounds. As halftime approached, Saint Mary’s continued their relentless pursuit, adding more points to the board.  #12 Dominic Besag and #11 JT further extended their lead with well-executed tries, showcasing the Gaels' ability to get creative on offense.  They demonstrated impressive speed, precision, and explosiveness with all aspects of the game especially the player’s abilities to offload increasing their chances at reaching the try-zone.  With eight minutes left in the first half SDSU player #4 James Barolo scores their first try of the game.  SDSU utilized penalties and set pieces to compete with the Gael’s relentless attitude on the pitch.  Entering the second half in the lead, Saint Mary’s maintained their dominance on the field.  #13 Eric Storti scored another try for the Gaels at the 38-minute mark, followed by another try by #12 Dominic Besag at the 37-minute mark.  As the match progressed, Saint Mary’s showcased their depth and versatility, with players including #4 Brian McKeon, #3 John-Henry Rouse, and #5 Joseph Broughton who all demonstrated good field management and playmaking.  Saint Mary’s #10 Inoke Waqavesi showcased impressive speed, skill, and knowledge with unstoppable offensive abilities ultimately setting up players on the wing for success.  Saint Mary’s #18 Ofa Tui’ile’ila scores an impressive try at the 26-minute mark followed by a try from Andreas Angelopoulos during a powerful maul.  As Saint Mary’s continues to rack up points #20 Jack Becker added to the scoreboard after moving from the pack to the backline.  Despite SDSU's efforts, Saint Mary’s proved to be too strong as #13 Eric Storti cheese a grubber into the try zone for an additional 5 points.  At the 7-minute mark, SDSU scores their second try of the match showing impressive work ethic to stay in the fight.  Saint Mary’s responded with a series of trys scored by #11 JT, #13 Eric Storti, and #14 Sosia Pongi to end the match.  The match concluded with an impressive victory for Saint Mary’s, with the final score at 109 to 12.

SMC v CWU 27 - 26

In a game that lived up to the hype #7 Saint Mary’s defeated #8 Central Washington by a single point. Read more here. 

SMC v UCLA 58 - 5

Men’s Rugby displayed proficient teamwork and profound speed with the win over UCLA Bruins on Saturday, February 17 at Saint Mary’s Stadium. Read more here. 


SMC v Boston College W 74 - 7 

Gaels Defeat Boston College Eagles in the inaugural men's rugby match-up: The Teddy Smith Classic. Read More here

This weekend’s men’s rugby match-up between Saint Mary’s College and Boston College helped spread awareness for mental health issues while bringing two institutions together that have current and past ties.

Mario Storti ‘26 is pushed into the try zone by Erich Storti MA’24 in an attempt to increase the lead against Boston College.

SMC v Arizona W 48-15
Saint Mary's Transition Game Sees Them Past Arizona | Alex Goff, Goff Rugby Report

In a meeting of two highly-ranked D1A teams Saint Mary's defeated Arizona 48-15 in Moraga. Read more here.


Men's Rugby in the scrum
SMC Men's Rugby battles against UCSB Gauchos at the Saint Marys Stadium for their first home game.

In what was a well-fought game by both teams, the Gaels quickly gained the high ground over UCSB with the first points on the board made by King Matu ‘24 #8, within the first few minutes.  Read more here. 

Garrison Arriola is Getting a Crash Course in Rugby at Saint Mary's College of California | Matt Weiss, The Guam Daily Post

Arriola, who is majoring in economics and mostly plays on the Gael’s B side, has been gaining experience and played in 36 games last season. A combination of on-the-job training and working hard in practice has increased his rugby knowledge, and his skills have risen to a new level. Read more here



Community Comes together for common good | Jennifer Wake, Lamorinda Weekly

Saint Mary's College rugby players arrived at the Lafayette Community Center playground on Oct. 26 to load the old playground equipment onto a truck heading for Choice in Aging - a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Pleasant Hill that combines senior living, senior services and a Montessori school on one campus. Read More here.

Rugby Community Good


2022-2023 Season Recaps



In the latest match-up in what has become a fierce rivalry between the best teams in the Bay Area, Saint Mary’s defense paves the way for a 38–34 victory over the Golden Bears. The Gaels are now on solid ground for the playoffs. Read Here.

Men's Rugby Players celebrate after a score


GOFF RUGBY REPORT: Saint Mary's Edges out Cal


Gaels win over Cougars 

Joseph Yacoubian 5/5 on the day .

By: Cian Messner '23

In what was The Rugby Network’s Game of The Week, Saint Mary’s College took on the BYU Cougars in Saint Mary’s Stadium.  The Gaels looked to extend their run of good form from the previous two weeks with a win over the Cougars. In what was a highly competitive game, St. Mary’s would open the scoring thanks to a penalty kick that was converted by Joe Yacoubian giving the Gaels a 3-0 lead roughly ten minutes into the game. For a large portion of the first half either side pounded away at the opposing defense trying to exploit any weakness but thanks to a penalty error from BYU, the Gaels would be given a perfect opportunity to extend their lead through another penalty kick which was converted by Joseph Yacoubian making it 6-0 in favor of Saint Mary’s. Immediately after going 6-0 down, BYU attempted to get their name on the board. Phase after phase a strong Saint Mary’s defense would repel BYU and clear the ball, relieving whatever momentum BYU may have built. With only ten minutes left to play in the first half, BYU would finally break through scoring their first try, followed by another shortly before halftime. At the end of the first half, BYU flipped the score line and was leading 6-12. The Gaels would come out of halftime firing and would restore their lead after BYU shanked a kick, then conceded a penalty to allow the Gaels to kick the ball into the corner for a lineout. After attempting to maul the ball over the try line Inoke Waqavesi pulled the ball and passed it to Dominic Besag. Besag running downhill wouldn’t be denied powering over defenders before stretching out for Saint Mary’s first try of the day. Joseph Yacoubian would convert the conversion giving the Gaels a 13-12 lead. Saint Mary’s next attack would come from another BYU penalty which allowed them to set up a lineout just inside of the 22-meter line where they would gain another penalty through the maul for yet another lineout. This time the SMC maul would be denied as they powered their way over allowing the hooker Joshua Allan dotted down the try. Joseph Yacoubian would convert this attempt as well, as we saw a quick shift in favor of the Gaels 20-12. BYU would attempt to claw their way back into the game but to no avail. They scored a penalty kick to bring it within one score but Joseph Yacoubian would score one of his own to keep BYU just out of reach. The Gaels ended up with a positive result with a final score of 23-18 Saint Mary’s.


Gaels Fall Short - Turnovers and Penalties give the Wildcats the Win.

By: Cian Messner '23

On February 11th Saint Mary’s College Gaels took on the Central Washington Wildcats.  The Gaels opened up the day kicking off to the Central and would quickly gain control of possession. The start of the game was dominated by Saint Mary’s hammering away at the Wildcat defense looking for a breakthrough but errors would limit the Gael’s ability to come out with a score early on. Roughly half way through the first half the deadlock was broken by Central Washington after capitalizing on a mistake giving them a lead of 5-0.  The Gael’s would mount an attack on the Wildcats and would tuck the ball away after the captain, Joseph Marchant, broke off of a maul to score in the corner putting the Gaels back on top 7-5. The remainder of the first half consisted of either team testing their opposing number and looking for any gap to exploit. Central Washington would capitalize on a penalty just before the end of the first half making the score 7-8 in favor of Central Washington. The second half (and a man in the bin) would begin with a shaky start for Saint Mary’s. Having to deal with a few ball handling errors would allow Central to capitalize early on in the second half making the score 15-7. The back and forth would continue until Dominic Besag showed his ability to run through the defense taking it within the attacking zone before hooker Joshua Allan would bring the Gaels within one of the Wildcats. The Wildcats would go on to respond with a try of their own, but the Gaels would not lie down against the adversity. Dominic Besag would score a try in the corner that was set up through the hard running of Kaipono Kayoshi to bring the Gaels back into striking distance. The intensity would not die down as Inoke Waqavesi shifted his way through the Wildcat defense in order to give the Gael a lead of 26-22. Kick-off return was brilliant with 7 phases of play resulting in a penalty against the visitors. 30m out and 15 m inside of the left touch line. Instead of opting to kick to the corner for a lineout option the Gaels chose to kick for points. The kick went wide right and the race was on. CWU flyhalf Ollie Cline outpaced a slow to react Geals squad to the 22m line. He quick kicked a dropout to himself. CWU then owned possession and gained significant territory.  A SMC penalty made for a CWU attacking lineout on the 10m line. The Gaels held the wildcats out of the end zode but replacement hooker Nate Deegan failed to roll away from a ruck and was penalized. Once again CWU raced to the mark this time taping the ball thru the mark and found the right wing alone in the right corner where he dotted down to capture the win. Great heads up play on two occasions told the tale in the last 2 minutes of the contest.

For the hosts, 27 turnovers coupled with 12 penalties is tough to overcome. And for the guests their first victory over SMC in the past 21 years was well earned.

Conference Match-Up Win for the Gaels

By: Cian Messner '23

The Gael’s 2nd side would compete against Santa Clara in a California Conference matchup. This game would be heavily one sided in favor of Saint Mary's. The scoring opened after some slick ball movement allowed Jake Negrete to cross the line in the corner of the try zone. The lead would extend to 14-0 after Ethan Taufa capitalized on a well executed maul. Santa Clara would respond with a try of their own as well as a penalty kick to bring the deficit to 4, however the Gaels would extend their lead through Kieran Tingin and Nua Lualemaga making the score 28-10 at the break. Santa Clara would come out of the second half firing. The Broncos opened up the scoring of the second half making it 28-15 but the Gaels wouldn’t allow them to build any momentum. Yet again well executed passing and quick hands allowed the Gaels to get back on track with Iosefa Toia’ivoa scoring. Sosaia Pongi would add on to the lead after taking a crash ball clean through the Broncos making it 40-15. The Gaels would keep the pedal to the medal scoring tries through Mario Storti, Hayden Bullotta and Iosefa Toia’ivoa grabbing his second. The final score was 61-18 in favor of the Gaels. This win brought the Gaels to 4-0 in the California Conference.

2023 Spring Tour Recap

SMC v Trinity College

The Final match up on the spring tour for the Gaels A/B side against Trinity College u20's resulted in a win 33-26

Rugby Player running with Ball

Continued Pressure by the Gaels Prove Successful Against Oxford University.

Men's Rugby Game
Image Credit
Sandi Allen


By: Cian Messner | Class of '23

Saint Mary’s rugby took on Oxford University for their second match up on the 2023 England and Ireland Tour.

Kick off was approximately 4:00 pm. The Gaels gained an early 3-0 lead thanks to a penalty converted by Joseph Yacoubian and continued to keep the pressure on Oxford the majority of the first half. The explosive running efforts from first year Dominic Besag, the Gaels would score the first try of the match giving them a 10-0 lead. Oxford looked alive with a string of a few phases of their own to cut the Gael lead to 5. Leading into the half it was a back and forth game with both teams struggling to break the other’s defense. Going into the half the score was 10-5 in favor of the Gaels. The majority of the second half followed suit. Both teams tested the opposition yet falling short of the try line due to errors. Joseph Yacoubian would add onto his tally and convert another pentacle giving the gaels a 13-5 lead. Oxford wouldn’t go out quietly however and mounted a late assault with less than 10 minutes left in the game to make it a one point game but the Gaels would earn a penalty right in front of the sticks in which Yacoubian slotted right down the middle with no time left making the final score 16-12 to Saint Mary’s. 


The Gaels’ 2nd side took on one of Oxford University’s lower sides with a win 47-0. Anthony Richardson would score two tries and Sosaia Pongi, John Wilson, Zach Pua, Peter Murphy, and Hayden Bullatta would also get their names on the score sheet. Both Hunter Modlin and Will Lhommedieu would convert 3 kicks in their win over Oxford. 

The Gaels face their third and final match-up on Saturday, February 4th against Trinity College in Dublin Ireland. 

 Goff Rugby Report: Wins for Saint Mary's In Oxford; Trinity Next

Gael Ruggers Compete Against Top Cambridge University Team in England

By: Cian Messner | Class of '23

Men's Rugby Game


On January 29, Saint Mary’s College of California took on Cambridge University for their first competition on the 2023 Spring Tour to England and Ireland. The Gaels opened up scoring with Erich Storti passing wide to Iosefa Toiaivao for the first try on the day. Cambridge responded by capitalizing on a Saint Mary’s error, scoring out wide in the corner. Cambridge then scored again with a nifty kick in behind to set up their second try. 

The Gaels second try came with a cross field kick to freshman Iosefa Toiaivao, converted by Mario Storti. The Gaels kept up pressure with quick passing through the hands but came up short due to a penalty.

The score was 12–10 in favor of the Gaels at the half, and Saint Mary’s opened up the second half receiving the ball. However, Cambridge opened up the scoring in the second half scoring two unanswered tries. The Gaels mounted a late assault by using brilliant forward play to draw the opposition defense in before Mario Storti set Jake Negrete free into the corner of the try zone. The late push by the Gaels was not be enough, and the game finished 24–17 Cambridge.

To stay up to date, follow Gael Rugby on Instagram.


Saint Mary's won their California Collegiate Conference clash with Cal Poly 85-7.

On January 21st, the Saint Mary’s Gaels took on the Mustangs of California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo. The game took place on Pat Vincent Memorial Field due to the stadium field being torn apart from the recent storms. For Saint Mary’s, the game would start rather quickly with Iosefa Toia'ivoa dotting the ball down only minutes into the game. The momentum would settle with Cal Poly trying to get a foothold in the game but would come to no avail. Just a short 10 minutes after the Gael’s first try, they would cross the line again through a well executed counter attack through Iosefa Toia'ivoa before dishing it off to Cathal Coakley for a Saint Mary’s try.The Gael’s would continue to put the pressure on Cal Poly, and thanks to some elusive running as well as a slick dummy pass Joe Yacobian would cross the line for yet another Saint Mary’s try. Iosefa Toia'ivoa and Joe Marchant would also score in the first half, giving the Gaels a commanding lead of 33-0. Opening the second half, Saint Mary’s would keep their foot on the pedal. King Matu would open up the second half scoring with a well earned forwards try. The game would go on with both teams going back and forth with only the slightest of errors turning the ball back over until Lleyton Delzell scored an acrobatic try in the corner, extending the Saint Mary’s lead to 45-0. Cal Poly would not go down without a fight. They battled back 20 minutes into the second half for their first try of the game. This would be the only momentum that the mustangs would be able to enjoy as the Gaels would pin their ears back and go on to score 6 unanswered tries through Josh Allan, Sosaia Pongi, Iosefa Toia'ivoa, Erich Storti, John Wilson, and Jake Negrete, making the final score 85-7 in favor of Saint Mary’s. The Gaels are now 2-0 in California Conference play.

Gaels Fight to the End

SMC  28  - UBC  33

After a long and uncharacteristically wild week of rain, the World News Cup, a competition where the best university team in California plays the best university team in British Columbia, kicked off in Saint Mary’s Stadium.  Read more here.

League Play Opens with a Win Against the Aggies

SMC 45 - UCD 12

Saint Mary’s 2nd side would take on UC Davis’ 1st side in the league game. Similarly to the game before, 10 minutes into the game Davis would open up the scoring out wide through creative footwork making the game 5-0. The Gaels wouldn’t look back though, scoring 3 unanswered tries, through John Wilson, Nikita Moysov, and Nate Deegan with Sosaia Pongi converting 2 of the 3 tries. The Gaels would go into the half leading 19-5. Nate Deegan would open up the second half scoring, converted by Will Lhommedieu, shortly before Davis would add one more of their own. The Gaels would keep the pressure on with two more tries with one being converted. The final score would end up 45-12 in favor of the Gaels, making them 1-0 in conference league play.

Saint Mary’s Exciting Preseason Opener!

Saturday, November 5th the Gaels took on the American Raptors. 

Men's Rugby

Glendale, Colorado -  The Raptors are a professional Men's Rugby Club, consisting of two notable Saint Mary's alumni. Collegiate All-American Ronan Murphy and 2020 Rudy Schulz Player of the Year, Payton Ilalio. Both Murphy and Ilalo played for the Austin Gilgronis before later finding a roster spot on the American Raptors. Murphy is now Captain of the Raptors.

The Gaels traveled to Colorado early Friday morning for their 1:00pm MT game on Saturday. This was Saint Mary's first game since the National Championship last May, needless to say they were a bit rusty. With a young and injured team the Gaels fell behind quick going down 26 - 8 at halftime to the stronger American Raptors. 

The Gaels had a penalty kick from Hunter Modlin and a try from Captian, Joseph Marchant. 

Following the first half, Saint Mary’s came back strong! With two tries by King Matu and another late try by Jake Negrete the Gaels were within 4 points. The game came down to the final moments where the Raptors were able to secure victory resulting in a 43 - 39 loss for the Gaels. Saint Mary's showed out strong in the second half with glimpses of beautiful rugby. The results were not in our favor but there are a lot of areas for growth. It is clear that this team has a lot of fight in them with their ability to come back from down, Gael fans are left with with a lot of excitement for the future! 



2021-2022 Season 

Gaels make too many mistakes in Houston

April 30, 2022 - Houston, TX

The stage was set with a large pro-Army crowd and a warm humid day. Army had their backs to the wind in the first half and used it well to gain territory from the boot. One of those kicks was a 50-22 that resulted in an Army lineout that they won and mauled in for the only try of the first half. The Gaels dynamic attack was thwarted by Army's strong defense, but the mistakes and unforced errors was the story and shown by the final result. The Gaels had plenty of opportunities only to be stopped by knocking the ball on. Attacking late in the game the Gaels were poised to score the tying try and attempt the conversion to win the game. Unfortunately, the Gaels knocked the ball on three times in a row allowing Army to clear the ball each time. The Gaels made several attempts to get back in scoring position, but with good Army defense and yet another knock on, Army was able to score a converted try as time expired for a final score of 20-8. The Gaels will look in the mirror and be disappointed with their mistakes, but knowing that they competed in the National Championship and ended up being the #2 College Rugby team in the Untied States is nothing to be ashamed about. 

Gaels Dominate Cal Early - Win 35 to 26

Saturday April 23, 2022 SMC vs Cal - Witter Field, Berkeley, CA 

Saint Mary's College Men's Rugby Team absolutely dominated play and built a 28 to 0 lead in the first half. The Gaels defense was their dynamic offense showed everyone what the Gaels are capable of. With few mistakes and fewer penalties the Gaels sliced up the Cal defense and put across four converted trys before Cal knew what hit them. Cal was able to score as time ran out in the first half, so the scoreboard showed the Gaels on top 28 to 5. The second half saw the Gaels make mistakes that Cal pounced on to start their furious comeback. The packed crowd grew tense as Cal scored trys to close the gap. Saint Mary's gathered themselves and scored again to put the game out of reach. Fans from both sides witnessed a great college rugby game. When the Gaels play clean and dynamic they dominate play. When the Gaels make handling errors and repeated penalties they are ordinary. For the Gael Nation who supports this program unconditionally, they were treated to a dominating performance. And then there were two - SMC vs Army for the USA Rugby National Championship. 

Men's Rugby team Photo after defeating cal

Gaels Beat BYU for the Third Time - 24 to 22

Saturday April 16, 2022 - Saint Mary's Stadium - Moraga, CA

The rain which came down on Friday through Saturday morning stopped in time for the third clash between Saint Mary's College and Bringham Young University. The Gaels scored early but BYU came back and took the lead for most of the contest. BYU put together a very strong defense coupled with the field conditions limited the dynamic Gael attack. Uncharacteristic knock ons and slipping on the wet surface hurt the Gaels from putting together any offensive momemtum. Credit to the BYU defense. They put in the tackles with much fury and were solid in limiting the line breaks of the Gaels. Yes the Gaels were behind towards the end of the game and the enlivend crowd responded when the Gaels kept knocking on the door, only to have their efforts dashed by a mistake or penalty. The courageous Gaels were not to be denied and scored a try which was converted in the final minutes to go ahead 24 to 22. The Gaels received the kickoff and were able to retain posession for the final minute of the match to earn the victory and the trip to Berkeley for the Semi-Finals of the USA Rugby D1A National Championships. 

Gaels Win Big Over UC Davis - 104 to 17

Sunday April 3, 2022 - Saint Mary's Stadium - Moraga, CA

De Ja Vu - Yes the sun was out. Yes the crowd was entertained. Yes the Gaels scored lots of tries to end the regular season with a lopsided victory over the UC Davis Aggies. The Gaels were not perfect, and have plenty of things to evaluate watching the film, but the open play and dynamic tacticts were fun to watch. With more young Gaels wearing the first team stripes, the Gaels were anxiously awaiting the whistle to start the game. As with Santa Barbara, the Gaels put on a show of brilliant attack. Fantastic movements and passes proved too much for the Aggies to defend. 

Gaels Win Big Over UC Santa Barbara - 95 to 8

Saturday April 2, 2022 - Saint Mary's Stadium - Moraga, CA

The sun was out, the crowd was ready, and the Gaels put on a show. With some players needing a rest, the Gaels put out a lineup that saw some young Gaels in the starting lineup for the first time. The scoring started early and didn't stop until the final whistle blew. The Gaels take the pitch again tomorrow against UC Davis at noon. 

Gaels Unforced Errors Lead to Cal Victory

Saturday March 26, 2022 - Witter Memorial Field - Berkeley, CA

On a beautiful sunny day the setting was set and the pro Saint Mary’s crowd packed Witter Memorial Field eagerly anticipating the battle between the two best College teams in the country. Cal with nine foreign players and two from California came out ready and scored the first try of the match. The Gaels came back with two converted tries, followed by a Cal try then another score by Saint Mary’s. The Gaels led at halftime 19 to 14. The second half saw Cal score early followed by a Gael’s try to regain the lead. The Gaels made too many errors that Cal took advantage of resulting in the Bears final two tries. With very little time on the clock the Gaels were attacking in hopes of punching in a converted try to tie the contest, but were disheartened by a penalty whistle. The Bears tapped and cleared to end the game with Cal winning 31 to 24. 

Gaels Enjoy Rare Lopsided Win vs BYU

Saturday March 12, 2022 - South Field Soccer Stadium - Provo, UT

The preceeding week saw cold and snow, but for this contest of top tier rugby programs the sun and fans came out. According to the BYU staff, this was the first game in a couple of years when fans were allowed to watch the game. Those who showed up were not disappointed in the physicality and style of play. Although it was a contrast in styles with BYU going forward with hard runners and Saint Mary's spinning the ball out wide with their back finding gaps to run, pass, or kick through. The Gael defense was again stout and forced BYU backwards on several occassions. BYU did have several line breaks and their #6 was a difficult tackle and gained positive yardage everytime he touched the ball. These tactics and several positive mauls by the forwards netted the Cougars 5 tries. The Gaels on the other hand had several line breaks and well-timed kicks resulting in 10 tries. This offensive output can be attributed to hard work and nifty offloads by the forwards and dynamic attacks and finishes by the backs. With that said, we can't diminish Angelo Aguirre, the Saint Mary's lock who darted down the field 40 meters for the try. Surrounded by snow capped mountains and many intense BYU fans the Gaels stood tall and walked off the field with the 60 to 29 victory. 

Goff Rugby Report on the SMC vs BYU game


Gaels Come Back to defeat Central Washington University 30 to 27

Saturday March 5, 2022 - Tomlinson Stadium - Ellensburg, WA

Playing on a multi use turf field always has its challenges, but once the whistle blows all thoughts are on the opponent. Prior to the start of the match Central Washington paid tribute to a fallen brother. Our thoughts and prayers are with the CWU rugby community. On the field CWU played with energy and veracity. The Gaels committed several unforced errors that lead to lost possessions, poor field position, and/or trys by CWU. CWU capitalized on this along with some strong rugby and built a lead of 27 to 8 in the second half. The Gaels ramped up their effort and showed some stout defense and began playing the dynamic offense we are accustomed to seeing scoring try after try until they dotted the ball down on the last play of the match to go ahead 28 to 27. With the conversion, the scoreboard showed the final score of Gaels 30 - CWU 27. CWU is a significantly improved team and deserving of being identified as on the top tier of collegiate rugby. 

Gaels Defeat BYU - 39 to 28 

Saturday February 12, 2022 - Saint Mary's Stadium - Moraga, CA

On a beautiful February day Saint Mary’s College and BYU took the pitch for a battle between two of the top teams in the country. The raucous crowd was not disappointed with the physicality and strength of play. Both teams showed their stoutness with passionate and dominating defenses. Saint Mary’s attack was a bit more creative and proved to be the difference in the final score. Each time the Gaels attempted to put the game away BYU took advantage of a mistake and scored to scratch closer on the scoreboard. In the end, the Gaels prevailed and kept their two year unbeaten streak alive. With a few challenging matches until the rematch in Provo, Utah, both teams will look forward to taking the pitch against each other again. 

Goff Rugby Report - Delving into Saint Mary's vs BYU


Gaels Dominate Cal Poly - 73 to 6

Saturday, January 22, 2022 San Luis Obispo

On a cold January morning the Gaels boarded their bus for the journey south to take on the Cal Poly Mustangs. After getting off the bus to prepare for the match, the Gaels were able to watch the end of the SMC Women’s rugby game vs. Cal Poly. The whistle blew to start the match and the Gaels needed some time to shake off the rust. Their self-admitted sloppy play to start the match took some time to correct. Two ill-timed Gael penalties resulted in 6 points for the Mustangs. As the Gaels started playing to their level the defense proved impenetrable and dominant. Their attack started taking flight and the tries stared piling up. The victorious Gaels walked off the pitch with lessons learned and great minutes for many Gaels. The second and third teams also dominated. All in all, a great day for the Gaels. After the traditional rugby pleasantries, the Gaels boarded the bus for the journey home. Many Gaels were able to watch the 49ers victory over the Packers so the 49er fans had a memorable ride home.

Gaels Defeat BYU - 39 to 28

On a beautiful February day Saint Mary’s College and BYU took the pitch for a battle between two of the top teams in the country. The raucous crowd was not disappointed with the physicality and strength of play. Both teams showed their stoutness with passionate and dominating defenses. Saint Mary’s attack was a bit more creative and proved to be the difference in the final score. Each time the Gaels attempted to put the game away BYU took advantage of a mistake and scored to scratch closer on the scoreboard. In the end, the Gaels prevailed and kept their two year unbeaten streak alive. With a few challenging matches until the rematch in Provo, Utah, both teams will look forward to taking the pitch against each other again. 

Gaels Defeat Life West - 29 to 26

The Gaels took the pitch against Life West who has several former Gaels in their ranks. The Gaels jumped out to a 19 to 0 lead but Life West fought hard to the end and came all the way back to have the final whistle end their shot at a victory. Several Gaels received valuable minutes in the match that will prove useful throughout the season. 

Gaels Beat Life - 31 to 29

It took the full 80 minutes but the Gaels prevailed with a successful penalty kick at full time to seal the victory. One would expect both teams to play at a higher standard as the season progresses, but every fan in attendance was treated to a fantastic rugby game. The Gaels started off the scoring followed by some dominant rugby by Life University who took a commanding lead late into the second half. The Gaels fought back and got within 5, but Life elected to kick for points and went up by 8. The Gaels didn't quit and with some of their most connected rugby scored a converted try to close the gap to 28 to 29. With the Gaels controlling possession and looking to attack wide, Life was called for a penalty. The kick was slotted with no time remaining, giving the Gaels the 31 to 29 victory. Both teams will learn from this match and be better for it. As they say, today was a great day for rugby. Keeping with the rugby tradition both teams joined together, took a few pictures and shared some stories. Life was able to clean up some and get a bit of food prior to taking off to the airport. We wish Life safe travels.

Gaels have successful trip to Colorado

The Saint Mary's College Men's Rugby program traveled to Colorado to start their season. The first team took on the North American Rugby Academy and the second team competed against the University of Colorado. Infinity Park was the beautiful location to host these two matches on their side field. The Gaels dominated possession on the pitch and on the scoreboard ending with the first team earning a convincing 54-10 victory. The second team played a well organized Colorado team. The second team was up to the task and prevailed 29-15. A great start to the season that has many upcoming challenges.