2017-2018: Articles/Reviews


(4/21/18): Men's Rugby vs Lindenwood: Quarterfinals | L 22-43

Powerful Lindenwood Shocks Saint Mary's | Alex Goff | FloRugby

Lindenwood was just more clinical, strangled the Saint Mary's offensive efforts, and capitalized on Gaels mistakes. Read more here.

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(4/14/18): Men's Rugby vs Cal Poly: Round of 16 | W 58-22

Two From Matthews Takes Gaels Past Mustangs | Alex Goff | FloRugby 

Unleashing their special combination of powerful defense and free-flowing attack, the Saint Mary's Gaels defeated Cal Poly 58-22 to advance to the D1A quarterfinals Saturday.

Cal Poly had given Saint Mary's difficulties in their previous meeting (a 36-17 Gael win), and while the Mustangs weren't walkovers, this was very much a Saint Mary's game. The Gaels scored four tries before Cal Poly got on the scoreboard, and led 32-3 at halftime.

Aaron Matthews was hugely influential and scored two tries, as did Joe Yacoubian, while Ronan Murphy, Peyton Telea-Ilalio, and Tommy Wallace also touched down. 

Read the full story here. 

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(4/9/18): How Saint Mary's Vs Cal Is Really The New Normal | Alex Goff | FloRugby

College rugby observers had every reason to think that Cal might upend Saint Mary’s on Saturday.

After all, Saint Mary’s has gone into this annual rivalry game on a roll before only to be sunk by Cal’s virtually unique combination of skill, determination, and discipline.

Add to that the fact that Scholz Award nominee Vili Helu, the Gaels’ superb No. 8, was out injured, and Anthony Rodriguez, their non-stop second row, was out also, and you had to wonder if the lower-ranked Cal might do the job.

Read the full story here. 

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(4/8/18): DIA BRACKET FINALIZED | Brett Anker | April 8, 2018

The first ever DIA playoff field of 16 has been announced and it should be the best field since the Varsity Cup emerged five years ago. Action will start this weekend with the better seeded teams hosting.

A couple of teams who were on the outside looking in are now included thanks to either a results or the omission of Notre Dame College. There are disputing reports on the situation, but NDC could not make the trip to Cal and as a result the Competition Committee elected to remove NDC rather than shift the bracket. Read more here. 

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(4/7/18): Men's Rugby vs Cal | Gaels win 21 -12

Saint Mary's Holds Off Cal In Thriller | Alex Goff | FloRugby

The #1-ranked Saint Mary's Gaels held off #3 Cal in a thrilling regular-season finale between the two longtime rivals Saturday, with Saint Mary's emerging the 21-12 victor in Moraga, CA.

cal game

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(3/30/18): Scholz Award Nominees Named | Goff Rugby Report | Alex Goff 

This award, first given out in the 2015-16 season, is sponsored by the Washington Athletic Club of Seattle. Dylan Audsley of Saint Mary's won in 2016, and Bryce Campbell of Indiana won in 2017. Those two ended up starting several games together in the midfield for the USA in this season's ARC. 

Vili Helu No. 8 Saint Mary's

A hard-running No. 8, Helu has

led from the front as Saint Mary's

has been at the top of the D1A

rankings all season.

Fans are asked to help narrow this down to four finalists. To vote, go to this link.

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(3/24/18): Spring Tour: #1 Saint Mary's 32, Capitolina 17

Saint Mary's capped off a three-game tour of Italy with a 32-17 victory over Capitolina. That marked three wins against three men's clubs for the top-ranked Gaels. Now all eyes turn to Cal at Saint Mary's this Saturday.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/wVmakeg4yuRhR3mZ7

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(3/20/18): D1A Post Season Clarifying | Rugby Today | Brett Anker 

St. Mary’s officially clinched the conference with a win over Cal Poly but the game was not as easy as most had anticipated. The game was 7-7 at the break and the Gaels needed a strong second half to pull away from their opponent to win 36-17. That is an uncharacteristically close win for the Gaels. 

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(3/20/18): Saint Mary's Welcomes Cal Poly's Grit | FloRugby | Alex Goff 

Saint Mary's had some serious difficulty with Cal Poly on Saturday, and while the host Gaels came away 36-17 winners, the Mustangs showed well in Moraga, California.

For top-ranked SMC, which is set to tour Italy before hosting No. 3 Cal on April 7, the victory was in doubt until the final 20 minutes or so. Cal Poly, now ranked 13th by FloRugby, kept the game tied 7-7 with 50 minutes gone behind its defense and ability to maintain possession.

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(3/19/18): Upsets and Close Finishes in Week 11 | D1A Rugby | Nick Dugan 

Though they took a loss, Cal Poly had one of their best showings all season against #1 Saint Mary’s, losing 36-17.  Cal Poly matched St. Mary’s in the first half, limiting their own mistakes while capitalizing on turnovers to take a 7-7 tie into the half. The Gaels halftime adjustments helped them open up the field with kicks, and they soon got their offense going to pull in front. Some key takeaways for Cal Poly were their strong performances in the scrum and on defense at the breakdown.

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(3/18/18): Saint Mary's Survives Cal Poly Scare | FloRugby | Alex Goff 

In a game shown live by FloRugby on Facebook, #1-ranked Saint Mary's needed everything it had to dismiss a tenacious Cal Poly team 36-17 Saturday in the rain in Moraga, CA.

The Gaels scored right from the initial kickoff. After the forwards took it up a couple of times, the Gaels went it wide, where fullback Aaron Matthews fooled several defenders with a dummy, and then kicked through for wing Tom Wallace to chase. Wallace did exactly that, and then nudged the kick ahead into in-goal where he won to race to touch down.

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(3/17/18): Men's Rugby vs Cal Poly SLO | W 36-17

B Side-- 1:00pm | C Side-- 11:00am 

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(3/15/18): Men's College Player of the Week: Sean Yacoubian, Saint Mary's | FloRugby | Alex Goff 

Top-ranked Saint Mary's knocked off No. 4 BYU 37-29 in Provo, Utah, this past Saturday in part by pushing the pace of the game and using all of its weapons.

At the center of all of that was scrumhalf Sean Yacoubian, who is our Men's College Player of the Week. Read the full story here. 

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(3/12/18): Close Finishes Throughout the D1A Landscape in Week 10 | D1A Rugby | Nick Dugan 

The long-anticipated rematch between #1 St. Mary’s and #4 BYU did not disappoint, as BYU gave the Gaels everything they could handle but fell just short, losing 37-29. BYU came out firing and scored first before the Gaels offense went to work, building a 19-10 into the half. BYU inched closer in the second half, with tries from Sam Roberts and Justin Weaver keeping the Cougars within one score. BYU could never retake the lead, however, and after cutting the lead to 3, St. Mary’s responded immediately as Liam Cotter dotted down to give St. Mary’s some breathing room and seal the victory.

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(3/10/18): Saint Mary's Sweeps Series with BYU | FloRugby | Alex Goff 

Saint Mary’s completed a rare sweep of BYU, beating the Cougars 37-29 Saturday in Provo to follow up on last month’s 37-17 win in Moraga.

Playing at BYU’s South Field, the Gaels continued to play at a pace that most teams struggle to match. And while BYU basically did just that - keeping it a one-score game for most of the day, Saint Mary’s held on. Read the rest of the story here. 

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(3/10/18): Men's Rugby @ BYU | W 37-29

The match will be aired on BYU Rugby youtube

  • B side played BYU B side on Friday, March 9th can came away with a Win 33 - 20.
  • C side @ Santa Rosa JC

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(2/24/18): Men's Rugby vs. Glendale u23 | Win 58-12 

 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/V3V38JNcRxZHnpx68

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(2/23/18): D1A Weekend Review | Rugby Today | Brett Anker 

St. Mary’s took on the Glendale Merlins, the DI club team out of Colorado. The Gaels handled them 51-12.

St. Mary’s is 3-0 and leading the conference. Davis moves into second place in the division but San Diego State has a game in hand on the Aggies and defeated Davis earlier this year. Cal Poly has a number of games to make up in this conference but for now it is a three team race.

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(2/19/18): Week 7 Recap | D1A Rugby | Nick Dugan 

In the highly anticipated top 3 west coach matchup, #1 St. Mary’s took down #3 BYU 37-17. BYU put St. Mary’s on its heels to start, taking a 10-5 lead before the Gaels found their footing with set pieces and took a 20-10 lead at half. Though BYU kept it close at the start of the second 40 minutes, St. Mary’s counter-attack went to work, as the Gaels put in two late tries to dash any Cougar hopes of an upset.

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(2/17/18): Saint Mary's Defeats BYU 37-17 | FloRugby | Alex Goff

Saint Mary’s defeated BYU 37-17 in a pulsating game live on FloRugby Saturday, 

The Gaels came back from an early deficit, and scored two late tries to put away what was a close game for much of the contest. Prop forward Peyton Telea-llaio had a breakout game, scoring two tries and contributing to a strong scrum effort by the Gaels. In fact, Peyton Telea-llaio scored the opening try, capping off a long period of pressure by Saint Mary’s. Read more here.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/PHasKpbr429HPyWj7

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(2/5/18): Spring Week 5 Recap | Nick Duggan | D1A Rugby

Read more here.

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(2/3/18): St. Mary's defeats Olympic Rugby Club: W 60 - 7

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(2/1/18): Men's College Player Of The Week: Vili Helu | FloRugby | Alex Goff 

It's easy to take consistently great players for granted, so once in a while it's important to take a breath and put it all into perspective. When you do that, you come to obvious conclusions, like Saint Mary's No. 8 Vili Helu should be our Men's College Player of the Week.There's no doubt that Helu brings it every game. Tall and athletic, Helu has a loping stride that maybe lulls you into the false sense that everything is easy for him. However, his toughness is unquestioned: In the D1A final last May he heroically battled through a shoulder injury to help the Gaels to victory. Read more here.

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(1/30/18): Gaels Coach Praises Tough SD State, Looks To O-Club | Alex Goff | FloRugby

Saint Mary’s is now 3-0 in the California Conference after beating San Diego State 62-5 this past Saturday, a dominating performance that SMC head coach Tim O’Brien said was no reflection on the Aztecs.

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(1/29/18): Spring Week 4 Recap | D1A Rugby | Nick Dugan

D1A defending champs and #1 ranked Saint Mary’scontinued its California Conference dominance with a 62-5 win over #14 San Deigo State. The Gaels offense went to work as usual, controlling possession early and spreading the field wide to expose holes in the Aztec defense and open up a 36-5 lead at the half. The Gael’s production continued in the second half, with Charlie Louden and Tavite Lopeti notching tries, and Ethan Waller putting in two of his own. Read more here.

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(1/29/18): ST. MARY'S, UC DAVIS CLAIM VICTORY IN CALI | Rugby Today | By Evan Lappen

The second week of the D1A California Conference saw the frontrunner and the newcomer notch victories. Both squads were road warriors as No. 1 ranked Saint Mary’s blitzed San Diego State, 62-5, in San Diego, Calif. and #21 UC Davis took down Cal Poly, 33-27, in San Luis Obispo. The first weekend of February sees St. Mary’s battle Olympic Club, UC Davis take on UC Santa Barbara, and SDSU host Cal. Read more here.

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(1/27/18): BYU, Saint Mary's, Cal All Win Big | FloRugby | Alex Goff

Saint Mary’s moved to 3-0 in California Conference play with a 62-5 defeat of San Diego State. Having already dispatched Santa Clara and UCSB this year, the Gaels are in good shape with Cal Poly and UC Davis still left on the schedule. Read more here. 

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(1/27/18): National Score Report  | Rugby Today | Evan Lappen

No. 1 ranked Saint Mary’s schooled SDSU, 62-5, for the Aztecs’ second loss in a row and the Aggies of UC Davis picked up their first Cal Conference win edging Cal Poly, 33-27. In further west coast action, #2 Cal was challenged by the Olympic Club, a Pacific Rugby Premiership squad, but the Bears shut the men’s club down, 87-19. In other PAC Conference play, Arizona State traveled to California for a back to back stretch versus UCLA and USC. The Sun Devils split their slate falling to UCLA on Saturday and holding on to beat USC on Sunday. Read more here.

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(1/27/18): Men's Rugby vs. SDSU | Win 62 - 5

Watch the game here. 

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(1/22/18): Spring Week 3 Recap | D1A Rugby | Nick Dugan

Top five teams in the D1A rankings were also in action against non-conference opponents and put up some big scores. #2 Life University took on LSU at home and shut out the Tigers 103-0, while #4 Cal got tries from 10 different players on their way to an 81-6 victory over Cal Poly. Finally, #1 Saint Mary’s continued its road stretch with a 74-7 rout over UC Santa Barbara. Read more here.

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(1/21/18): Top-Ranked team Show Their Quality | FloRugby | Alex Goff

The Saint Mary's Gaels are now 2-0 in the California Conference, having dispatched UC Santa Barbara 74-7 on the road Saturday. Freshman second row Chase Jones scored three tries in the game, with nine other Gaels scoring one apiece. 

With San Diego State losing to Grand Canyon, and Cal Poly getting hit hard by Cal, Saint Mary's looks in excellent shape to win the California Conference once more.  Read more here.

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(1/20/18): National Report Score | Rugby Today | Evan Lappen

Blowouts and an upset highlighted the third week of 2018. The top three teams in the country crushed their opponents as Cal, St. Mary’s, and Life were in complete control on Saturday. The closest match of the weekend saw Grand Canyon survive two yellow cards to pull off a 22-18 upset against San Diego State. Finally, the Houston Sabercats fell to the Uruguay National team, 32-24. Read more here.

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(1/20)18): SMC A vs UCSB: W 74 - 7

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(1/17/18): TIAR Awards--Match of the Year

St. Mary's comes back To beat Cal. One of the best rivalries in rugby is St. Mary's against Cal. They have history, they have talent, and they are both entertaining. That was certainly on display back in March when St. Mary's piped a win at Cal in the final moments.

rugby

Click here to view game highlights for SMC vs Cal: March 2017

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(1/15/18): Spring Week 2 Recap | D1A Rugby | Nick Dugan

After the long winter break, D1A rugby is finally back with a handful of important west coast matchups. Over the weekend, teams in the PAC and California conferences kicked off regular season action and looked to start off with a bang. Read more here.

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(1/13/18): Men's Rugby vs Santa Clara | 84 - 0

https://photos.app.goo.gl/CJmQexiatpjhNEuu7

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Men's Rugby vs Central Washington | Win 73 - 5

(1/8/18): Central Washington Fall Short in California | D1A Rugby | Angus Bishop

On Saturday the Wildcats had the unenviable task of taking on #1 St. Mary’s with only 24 hours rest to recover from Friday’s game. The Gaels who are defending national champions have been active throughout their preseason to ensure that they hit their regular season firing and raring to go. They had beaten the Iona Gaels, who were the best team in the Liberty Conference, by a resounding 70 points; and they had beaten a touring Gordon squad from Sydney, Australia’s prestigious Shute Shield system. Needless to say, they were well prepared for their first hit out against a ranked opponent in 2018. The game was one way traffic from the opening kick off with St. Mary’s running in 13 unanswered tries before CWU were able to conjure up a late try to avoid the shutout. Read more here. 

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(1/7/18): St.Mary's, UC Dvis sweep CWU in Cali Tour | Rugby Today | Evan Lappen 

On the first weekend of the New Year, Central Washington trekked 11 hours south to gauge its program versus top-flight competition of California. Things didn’t go as planned as the Wildcats lost to UC-Davis, 33-14, on Friday night and then got blasted, 73-5, by Saint Mary’s on Saturday.  The coaches at CWU know where they stand now and only have room to improve in the spring. Read more here.

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(1/6/18): Gaels open up 2018 with a Bang | FloRugby | Alex Goff

Saint Mary's defeated Central Washington 73-5 in Moraga, CA, on Saturday in the second game of CWU's California tour, showing the rest of the country that the Gaels are ready for another serious run in D1A. Read more here. 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/PaGrD5BaLZKP4Wsr5

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(12/2/17): Men's Rugby vs Gordon (Australia) | W 27-17

Worried Gaels Have Reloaded? You Should Be | Alex Goff | Flo Rugby

“I loved the fact that we played this game,” Gaels head coach Tim O’Brien said. “I kept saying it on the sideline. I think I was driving [assistant coach] Johnny Everett crazy. We were able to play against a nice group of players, experienced men, and I don’t know how many men’s clubs in the country could have hung with them. Young legs won out the day.” Read the article here.

  • SMC A vs Gordon: W 27-17
  • SMC B vs Santa Clara: W 50 - 0 
  • SMC C vs Sac State: L 29 - 34

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ViRybaMgGy8bbHZY9

https://photos.app.goo.gl/2b37J3DGYgg8jSS2A

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(11/18/17): SMC Defeats Iona College 74-0 | By Christian Portillo

MORAGA, CA. - Following last week’s 157-0 win over UC Santa Cruz, Saint Mary’s moved from Pat Vincent Field to the fresh, green pastures of Saint Mary’s Stadium to take on Iona College, from New Rochelle, New York. Prior to the A-Side storming the field, though, the B/C-Side took on an Alumni squad that still has it, winning 64-33. Click here for full story.

SMC B & C Side vs Humboldt State 11:15am | W 64-17

Men's Rugby

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(11/11/17) Gaels First Test: SMC A side vs UCSC | by Nico Docolas

Results: 

SMC A-side vs UCSC: W 57-0

SMC B-side vs Sonoma State: W 119-0

SMC C-side vs UCSC B-side: W 130-0

Ronan Murphy.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/DSKpznKtNNZ5UaCNA 

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(11/18): Interview with Men's Rugby, Alec Barton, ahead of UCSC Match

Read here

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2017 D1A USA Rugby National Champions SMC 30 vs. Life 24 

team photo

Saint Mary’s Defeats Life University 30-24 for Third National Championship in Four Years | Christian Portillo

MORAGA, CALIF. - A year after Saint Mary’s lost in the D1A National Championship to Life University 24-20 in front of their home crowd, they had the opportunity to avenge themselves on Saturday at Saint Mary’s Stadium. Not only was it a chance to make up for last year’s heartbreak, it was a chance to break the tie between the Gaels and Running Eagles over the past four title matches. Life won the championship in 2013 and 2016 while Saint Mary’s repeated in 2014 and 2015.

In order to beat Life, Saint Mary’s knew that they had to improve on their sloppy 43-7 semifinal win over Arizona. Cutting down both turnovers and penalties was a focal point in practice over the past week and defense, as always, was also heavily emphasized. With this in mind, the Gaels were aware that they would have to play close to a perfect game to overcome the undefeated Running Eagles. Click here for full article