Saint Mary’s to Host Santa Clara | By: Christian Portillo

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MORAGA, CALIF. - On Saturday, January 28th, Saint Mary’s will play the last game of a four-game homestand against local rival Santa Clara at 1:00 P.M. at Saint Mary’s Stadium.

When the Gaels faced the Broncos last year after returning from the Spring Tour in New Zealand, they applied their newly acquired knowledge and skills on the pitch to easily defeat the Broncos 100-25.

During the Gaels’ 2015 championship season, they played their California Conference rival twice. The first match fell on Valentine’s Day and Saint Mary’s handily won 91-10. The following matchup fell after a three game East Coast trip and was the last game of the regular season, which the Gaels finished strongly by winning 96-0 to head into the playoffs. This match was of special significance to Gael Rugby fans and alumni because it was played in honor of former hooker Tom Cooke, Class of 1961, who passed away the night before, but “had the best seat in the house,” as John Wallace said in his touching tribute for one of the Gaels’ most dedicated fans.

Santa Clara went on the road to begin their season against the Arizona Wildcats and lost 43-17 to the currently 16th ranked team in D1A Rugby. The quick and athletic Broncos were supposed to continue play last week at Stanford, but the weather did not permit play. The match is expected to be rescheduled, but for now the experienced Broncos must put their attention solely on #3 Saint Mary’s. Trying to make the playoffs for the first time in two years, look for senior Jack O’Hara, whose parents and older brother all played for Santa Clara, to come out ready to make an impact as per usual.