Men's Rugby


Saint Mary’s College has an outstanding college rugby program that has performed at consistently high levels throughout its years in USA Division 1. Each year, Dozens of young men venture onto the grounds of Pat Vincent Field with aspirations of championship play. Participants are well aware of the responsibility to uphold the long standing traditions of Gael Rugby.

2017 USA Rugby College 7s National Championships | Glendale, Colorado | May 19-21

smc

Visit the USA Rugby College 7's Website for more information

WATCH THE LIVE STREAM HERE

Cup Finals SMC vs Lindenwood 5:20pm PST 

Cup Semi Finals SMC vs Davenport | Win 40-12

Cup Quarterfinals SMC vs Grand Canyon | Win 36- 5

SMC vs Fordham | SMC Win  25 - 0

SMC vs James Madison | Win 45- 0

SMC vs Bowling Green | Win 31 - 5

All Quarterfinal and Final Match ups can found here. 

__________________________________________________

D1A 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

Saint Mary's wins D1A | Alex Goff, Goff Rugby Report

Dylan Audsley scored 25 points, Holden Yungert was MVP, the ground in Moraga, Calif. shook with the vibrations of the tackles between Life and Saint Mary's, and Kevin O'Connor was superb as the Gaels held of an excellent Life team 30-24 Saturday.

The lead changed multiple times, and we attempted to describe the activities in this report (click here).

But sometimes it's about the pictures. Read full article here 

SAINT MARY’S BEATS LIFE IN CLASSIC AFFAIR, WINS THIRD D1A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP | Alex Solomon, USA RUGBY

MORAGA, Calif. – In a fifth consecutive D1A Rugby National Championship meeting between the two schools, Saint Mary’s College defended Saint Mary’s Stadium Saturday in a 30-24 defeat of Life University. Read more here.

St. Mary's Beat Life For Third DI-A Title | This is American Rugby

For the past four years it's been either Life or St. Mary's that have gone home with the DI-A title. Each team had taken home the trophy twice. In the rubber match St. Mary's came from behind with a late try to win 30-24. It was a battle of two teams that competed hard in all aspects of the game. The defense from both teams was strong and each showed the savvy of two great teams.

Life had the first chance at points with an early penalty but Sam Cowley's kick was off the post. Still, Life had the best part of the early action and soon they were on the board as lock Mike Islava crashed over. Cowley hit the easy conversion to make it 7-0. Read full article here

SAINT MARY'S CAPTURES 3RD D1A TITLE OVER LIFE | By Evan Lappen

In the rubber match between Saint Mary’s and Life for the D1A National Championship, the match came down to who could handle the pressure of the moment. With the golden boot connecting on six penalties and a try, Gael fullback Dylan Audsley powered his team to the 30-24 win after trailing at halftime. The Saint Mary’s defense stood up the challenge and capitalized on Life’s penalty trouble. The victory gives Saint Mary’s its third D1A National Championship and second in a row.

According to Audsley, “Defensively, we were outstanding. We had mistakes, but it’s about moving on to the next play one at a time. Defensively, Life was really strong, good team, very well structured and we stood up to that today. It’s a testament to how we played defensively.”

“[To battle back in the second half,] it comes from a structure and a gameplan that we practice every week, but it mainly the relationships with the guys next to you. It’s the accountability, sacrifice, and trust. That’s what we live by and we have been living by that all season.”

__________________________________________________

NEWS & HIGHLIGHTS

March 16, 2017

D1A Rugby | Alex Solomon
California's All-Conference Teams Announced 

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – As they did a season ago, the Saint Mary’s College Gaels went undefeated in the California Conference. This spring, the Gaels made good on their regular season by capping the season with their third D1A National Championship. The team’s impeccable form earned Saint Mary’s more players on the All-Conference team than any other California side.

The only other California Conference team to qualify for the D1A Playoffs, Canterbury’s ninth-ranked San Diego State, was second behind the Gaels with six players named to the 1st Team. Click here for full article

smc
smc
smc
 

May 3, 2017

Saint Mary’s to Face Life University in D1A National Championship | By: Christian Portillo

MORAGA, CALIF. - For the fifth straight year, Saint Mary’s will play Life University in the D1A National Championship. The match will take place at Saint Mary’s Stadium on Saturday, May 6th, at 4:00 PM.

The road to the national championship for the Gaels was filled with a 10-1 regular season, followed by a memorable Spring Tour to Ireland and Scotland, a 72-5 Quarterfinal win over San Diego State, and a 43-7 Semifinal win over Arizona. Click here for full article

May 2, 2017

D1A Rugby | Nick Salen
SAINT MARY’S STADIUM – INSIDE THE D1A RUGBY NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP VENUE

Saturday, May 6 Life University and Saint Mary’s will square off in the D1A Rugby National Championship for the fifth consecutive time. For the second year in a row, the National Champion will hoist the coveted trophy on the pitch of Saint Mary’s Stadium in Moraga, Calif. Fans can also watch the action live on CBS Sports Network and on The Rugby Channel.

Nestled just a few miles east of San Francisco, Saint Mary’s Stadium has become a pinnacle of an ever-growing presence of rugby in the Bay Area. The school’s rugby program itself dates back to the late 19th century, but the venue and symbol it has become for the sport has only recently entered its new chapter of history. Click here to read the full article 

May 1, 2017

Gaels Advance to Fifth Straight National Championship With 43-7 Win Over Arizona | By: Christian Portillo

MORAGA, CALIF. - The semifinal match between top ranked Saint Mary’s and #14 Arizona took place on a sunny, drop-dead gorgeous day at Saint Mary’s Stadium. Although Saint Mary’s was heavily favored due to their extensive playoff experience and their home-field advantage, Arizona relished the underdog role. The Wildcats, who finished the 2014 D1AA season in second place and progressed to be in the D1A Final Four by defeating the Air Force Academy 51-7 and Baylor 48-5, were looking to play spoiler as they fielded many young players that were All-Americans in high school.

The well-versed postseason veteran Alec Barton began the match by putting his head down while carrying several Wildcat defenders with him past the try line for the opening try out of continuous phase play. Dylan Audsley made his first of five conversions on the day to give the Gaels an early 7-0 lead.

Audsley was able to tack on three more points early on with a penalty goal from the left hash mark just beyond the 22 metre line to get Saint Mary’s 10 points 10 minutes into the match. Click here for full article 

April 29, 2017

Goff Rugby Report | Alex Goff
Gaels Win Over Wildcats in Semifinals

Saint Mary's will return to the DIA final after beating Arizona 43-7 Saturday in the semis.

The Gaels put together a fairly comprehensive performance, although Arizona's tenacity on defense made Saint Mary's work for it. In fact, the only other college teams to hold Saint Mary's under 50 were BYU (who did it twice), and Cal.

The Gaels got things started with a surging run from flanker Alec Barton for the first try less than two minutes into the game. Dylan Audsley converted for the 7-0 lead. Arizona spent most of the next eight minutes camps out in or near the Saint Mary's 22, but the Gaels held, and then broke out. They got a penalty just inside the halfway line, and Audsley put it over with room to spare for a  10-0 lead. Click here for full article 

April 29, 2017

D1A Rugby | Alex Solomon
SAINT MARY’S SETS UP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP REMATCH WITH LIFE AFTER BEATING ARIZONA, 43-7

MORAGA, Calif. – The D1A Rugby National Championship will be contested by Saint Mary’s College and Life University for the fifth consecutive year after the Gaels overmatched Arizona, 43-7, and Life held off BYU, 36-26.  No. 1-ranked Saint Mary’s wasn’t at it sharpest in the Semifinals, but methodically put the game out of reach from the Wildcats over 80 minutes. The 2017 Championship bout between Life and Saint Mary’s will be played May 6 at Saint Mary’s Stadium and air live on CBS Sports Network.

All-American flanker Alec Barton initiated the scoring with a try that Dylan Audsley would convert to open a 7-0 lead. Audsley added three more points via a penalty kick to expand his team’s lead soon after. In the 25th minute, good support running and accurate offloading led to Michael McCarthy’s try, and Audsley’s third straight successful kick pushed the Gaels ahead, 17-0. Click here to read full article 

April 27, 2017

Rugby Today | Allyn Freeman
Down Memory Lane- St. Mary's Hires a New Coaching Crew, 2002 

smc

The College D1-A final is two weeks away (May 13), and if St. Mary’s College can beat Arizona this Saturday (April 29) in the semifinals, it will compete for its third straight title. (The other semifinal also this Saturday, pits Life against BYU). The championship match will be played inside St. Mary’s stadium located in Moraga, California, across from San Francisco on the East Bay side. (N.B. The Varsity Cup final will be played on the same day at Santa Clara University’s Stevens Stadium when California takes on Arkansas State.)

For many years, St Mary’s has exemplified what a small college can achieve in top rugby scholastic competition. It illustrates the success of a rugby program that epitomizes excellence.

But few remember the changeovers that occurred in 2002 that created the college’s fifteen-year championship run. In 2002, St Mary’s hired a seasoned quartet of savvy coaches that would continue the winning tradition first established by legendary coach Pat Vincent, a former All-Blacks captain. Vincent’s tenure was followed by the charismatic Marty Storti who served as coach for thirteen-years, guiding the Gaels through many playoff seasons.

Welcomed on board in 2002, were Tim O’Brien, John Everett, Ed Todd, and Andy Armstrong. O’Brien’s résumé highlighted three Eagle 15 caps, ten Eagle 7s caps, and a successful run as coach of the Old Blues RFC in Berkeley. Ed Todd has been a Panel Referee. Everett collected seven Eagles caps and coached the Lamoridna Youth team. Lastly, UC Berkeley alumnus Armstrong, played also at Trinity College, Ireland. Click here to read full article 

April 26, 2017

Gaels Defeat Aztecs 72-5 to Advance to Semifinals | By: Christian Portillo

MORAGA, CALIF. - Fresh off the Spring Tour to Ireland and Scotland, Saint Mary’s bypassed the first round of the D1A playoffs with a bye to play California Conference rival San Diego State in the Quarterfinals one week after Easter Sunday at Saint Mary’s Stadium. The ninth ranked Aztecs finished the regular season on a hot streak and defeated a solid Utah side by a score of 41-31 in the first round to advance to the Quarterfinals. They also provided the toughest competition out of the California Conference against the #1 Gaels and got second place in the conference.

But the Gaels were locked in and focused. Scrum-half Holden Yungert began both the first and second half of the match with tries that were converted by Dylan Audsley. All game long, Saint Mary’s passed out wide and moved the ball swiftly from side to side. The Gaels’ defense was also really disciplined and forced the Aztecs to lose field position rather than move forward time and time again. The only negative was all of the early penalties that the Gaels were called for. Click here for full article 

April 22, 2017

D1A Rugby | Alex Solomon
SAINT MARY’S RUNS PAST SAN DIEGO STATE AND INTO THE SEMIFINALS

MORAGA, Calif. – Saint Mary’s College outdid its 52-point regular season lashing of San Diego State Saturday, April 22 in the Quarterfinals of the D1A Rugby Playoffs. The Gaels found the try zone eleven times in front of the home fans at Saint Mary’s Stadium during a 72-5 defeat of the Aztecs.

Having returned from a week-long tour in Scotland not six full days before kickoff, Canterbury’s No. 1-ranked team showed no signs of jetlag in its first game in the States since the first of April. A pair of All-American backs scored the first sevens points of the game when scrum half Holden Yungert scored a try and Dylan Audsley converted the two-pointer. Click here for full article 

smc
Photo taken by Karen Drinkwater

April 20, 2017

Gaels Begin Playoffs on Saturday Against San Diego State | By: Christian Portillo

MORAGA, CALIF. - It’s that time of year again! After months of hard work in practice, a stellar regular season, and a wonderful Spring Tour to Ireland and Scotland, the Saint Mary’s Gaels find themselves in the playoffs once again. Just like last year, Saint Mary’s was given a bye during the first round of the playoffs since they were undefeated in the California Conference and ended the season as D1A Rugby’s #1 seed. Their upcoming opponent was decided in the opening round as San Diego State ousted Utah 41-31. Saint Mary’s will host #9 San Diego State for the Quarterfinals on Saturday at Saint Mary’s Stadium at 1:00 P.M. Click here to read the full article 

April 3, 2017 

Tim O'Brien
2017 U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame Inductee

smc

San Diego, CA (March 28, 2017) - Tim O’Brien’s rugby career began as a 17-year-old, with the Palo Alto Rugby Club. Tim’s father, Kevin, a Stanford Peninsula Rambler and Palo Alto rugby player, introduced him to the game at a very young age and he’s been passionately involved in the sport ever since. 

Tim played at the collegiate level for the University of California, Berkeley, from 1979-1981, winning National Championship teams in 1980 and 1981 as captain. At the conclusion of the 1980 college and select season, O’Brien travelled to Christchurch, NZ, to play for Merivale Papanui while hosted and coached by former All Blacks Stan ‘Tiny’ Hill and John Creighton. Upon returning home and prior to the fall quarter of his senior year at Cal, Tim was selected to start for the Eagles vs the All Blacks. Click here for full article 

2017 USRF Hall Of Fame Class Announced

San Diego, CA – The United States Rugby Foundation is pleased to announce the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame Class of 2017:

1991 USA Women's RWC Team
Steve Finkel
Dave Hodges
Dr. Lyle Micheli
Tim O'Brien
Candi Orsini
Jim Russell
Ed Schram Sr.
Tommy Smith
Jay Waldron 

The 10 newest members of the United States Rugby Hall of Fame will be honored at a to be announced U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame Induction Dinner.

Click here to read full article 

Saint Mary’s Finishes the Regular Season Against Sacramento State | By Christian Portillo

MORAGA, CALIF. - Although Saint Mary’s Gaels originally played their last home game against San Diego State on March 4th, there has been a change in plans. The #1 Gaels, who regained the top ranking with their passionate come from behind win over Cal last Saturday at Witter Rugby Field, will now face California Conference rival Sacramento State at Saint Mary’s Stadium on Saturday, April 1st, at 1:00 P.M. The match was originally scheduled to be played in the state’s capitol but now the Gaels will finish the regular season at home before heading off to Ireland and Scotland for the annual Spring Tour. As always, the Gael ruggers appreciate each and every single fan that comes to the matches to cheer them on, especially as the season comes to a close. Even if you cannot watch in-person at Saint Mary’s Stadium, the match will still be livestreamed on GaelVision. It will be nice for Saint Mary’s to play at home one more time before the playoffs begin since the D1A Rugby National Championship will be played at Saint Mary’s Stadium and will also be nationally televised on the CBS Sports Network.

April 4, 2017

Gaels Finish Regular Season with 80-3 Defeat of Sacramento State | By: Christian Portillo

MORAGA, CALIF. - A week after leaving Berkeley victorious after an emotional roller coaster of a win over Cal at Witter Rugby Field, Saint Mary’s returned home to finish the regular season against the Sacramento State Hornets. In a total contrast of environments, the atmosphere at Saint Mary’s Stadium was very relaxed and laissez-faire. The match actually started about ten minutes earlier than the slated start time of 1:00 P.M. 

Many of the usual starters got a well-deserved rest and this simultaneously gave the seniors who don’t get too much time on the pitch their opportunity to shine and show that their four years of hard work have paid off. Senior Canon Marin started the absolutely gorgeous day off with an offload to Charlie Loudon, who scored the first try of the match. Mike McCarthy, in place of the resting Dylan Audsley, is a good kicker himself and made the conversion to give the Gaels an early 7-0 lead.  Click here to read full article 

March 30, 2017

Goff Rugby Report | Alex Goff
EIRA Player Spotlight - Jack Carso Takes the Mark

The concept of the Fair Catch is a strong one in all of the world’s football games.

While two of those sports - Canadian Football and Rugby League Football - have now abolished the practice, which dates back to the earliest incarnations of the game that eventually also spawned Gaelic Football, Aussie Rules, Soccer, Rugby Union, and American Football, the idea that when you catch a ball on the fly under certain circumstances, you get a free go - a kick, usually - is ingrained in these games.

And so it is in Rugby Union, where, if you catch a kicked ball on the fly in your own 22, you can call for the mark, and get a free kick. Young players in the USA don’t do it very often, but if you’re under pressure, it’s a great way to relieve that pressure. You just have to be aware of when to use the rule.

Jack Carso knew. The Saint Mary’s wing called for the mark in the final moments against Cal, and his decision pretty much won the game for the Gaels. Click here to for full article 

March 27, 2017

Goff Rugby Report | Alex Goff
What Made Saint Mary's v Cal a Special Moment

There was something historic about the Saint Mary’s victory over Cal this past weekend.

Part of it might have been television - the game was shown live on Pac-12 Networks Bay Area, and on delay elsewhere. It was exciting. It was sometimes well played, and sometimes featured mistakes. And it had atmosphere - palpable atmosphere you could see on the screen.

And while it wasn’t a conference game, it mattered. It mattered as a longstanding rivalry match, a measuring stick of various conferences, and as a piece of history. Cal hasn’t lost to a US college team at home since 2004 well it’s been a long time. Click here to read full article

March 28, 2017

Q & A with Canon Marin | Click here to read interview

smc

March 27, 2017

D1A Rugby | Alex Solomon
TWO LATE TRIES SEND SAINT MARY’S OVER CAL

Click here for Pac12 video recap | SMC 27- Cal 24

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – It appeared California was going to win its third consecutive match over Saint Mary’s College when the Golden Bears held an 11-point lead into the backend of the second half. However, two late tries scored by center Aaron Matthews, both converted successfully by Dylan Audsley, made for a dramatic finish to the Gaels’ 27-24 win against Cal.

A raucous and packed environment at Cal’s Witter Rugby Field didn’t create any jitters for Saint Mary’s in the opening exchanges. In fact, the Gaels owned the better part of the possession and territory during the game’s opening minutes.

“It was definitely different from any game I played in this year, and even unmatched compared to the National Championship game last year,” Matthews said of the environment in Berkeley. Click here to read full article 

March 27, 2017 

Rugby Today | Evan Lappen
Late Comeback sends Saint Mary's over Cal 

Two of the top college programs in the nation scrummed down on Saturday when the University of California-Berkeley and Saint Mary’s College of California played at Witter Field in Berkeley, Calif. The Bears held the lead for most of the game, but the highly anticipated match boiled down to the last ten minutes. Down 24-13, St. Mary’s battled back from a two-try deficit to win the game, 27-24.

St. Mary’s coach Tim O’Brien said the key to game was maintaining composure under pressure. “Not trying to take too many bites out of the apple to get back into the game. We had extraordinary composure. We had a chance in the second half to be blown up with regards to playing extended periods of defense and take on some penalties and we didn’t. We had six total penalties in the game. Finding a way to win when you are not at your best is fantastic. The key to the win was the guys keeping their heads.” Click here for full article 

smc
Photo taken by: David Barpal

March 25, 2017

Gaels Score 14 Straight to Come Back & Beat Cal in a Thriller at Witter | By: Christian Portillo

smc
Click here for photos from SMC vs. CAL

MORAGA, CALIF. - What a day. What a win. For Gael rugby fans near and far, young and old, Saturday’s 27-24 come-from-behind victory will always be remembered as the gorgeous, sunny day that Saint Mary’s won at UC Berkeley for the first time since 1971.

In a packed, sold-out Witter Rugby Field that had fans sitting on the stairwells and railways just to catch a glimpse of two of the country’s top rugby programs going at it on the pitch, there were plenty of Saint Mary’s alumni, former and current players, and students to be found cheering the Gaels on.

Right from the onset of the match, the tone of physicality was set and the intensity level did not let up for any of the proceeding eighty minutes. Aaron Matthews, who shifted over from the inside centre position to the outside centre position in place of Mike Wallace, caught a kick in the air but was tackled while still in the air. Cal fullback Jake Goena was given a yellow card for his infraction and had to sit out for ten minutes. Saint Mary’s own fullback, Dylan Audsley, elected to go for points but his kick was just short of the goalposts. Click here for full article

March 25, 2017

Goff Rugby Report | Alex Goff
Saint Mary's Downs Cal at Cal on Late Try

Saint Mary’s College defeated Cal 27-24 Saturday evening at Witter Field in a stirring comeback.

This game is an enormous rivalry between the two stories rugby universities, but Cal has won easily the lion’s share of the games. But this year the Gaels came in confident, and were looking for an upset.

The teams were, as expected, pumped for the game and both sides hit extremely hard. The first few minutes both teams were clearly trying to find some opening, and eventually a miscue by Cal opened things up for the Gaels. Chasing a high ball, Cal fullback Jake Goena hit a Saint Mary’s player who was in the air. Penalty to Saint Mary’s and Goena was off with a yellow card. Cal did well to kill that penalty for a while, but a Saint Mary’s clearance kick was fumbled a little by the Bears at the back. The Gaels pressed their advantage, and when Russell Webb let a pass slip through his fingers near his tryline, the ensuing scrum was a perfect attacking opportunity for Saint Mary’s.

The Gaels tried to drive over with the pack, were stopped, but in the backs flyhalf Mike McCarthy popped a kick wide for Chris McDonnell to put it down. Dylan Audsley kicked the conversion and Saint Mary’s led 7-0. Click here for full article 

March 24, 2017

Goff Rugby Report | Alex Goff
Massive Rivalry Clash - Cal Hosts Saint Mary's

It has to be rivalry weekend as one of the longest-standing college rugby matchups meets up this weekend.

Cal hosts Saint Mary’s, and the game will be on the Pac-12 Networks, live for some and on delay for others. If you’ve got access to any Pac-12 network you can watch online using the Pac-12 Now app. Kickoff is 5pm at Witter Rugby Field at Cal.

Cal comes into the game having won the PAC Rugby Conference with a 5-0 record, but also having lost two games against their other massive rivals, UBC. The Bears have been moving their lineup around and will be without No. 8 Thomas Robles and fullback Troy Lockyear, who are out for the season with injuries. Click here for full article

March 23, 2017

D1A Rugby | Alex Solomon
CAL, SAINT MARY’S RENEW RIVALRY ON PAC-12 NETWORKS

 

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – Eighty minutes of hard-hitting rugby will decide which team is the best in the Bay when Saint Mary’s visits California Saturday, March 25. Of course, when the No. 2-ranked team in the Canterbury Top 20 faces the No. 4-ranked team in the country, not only is the distinction of the best team in the Bay Area on the line, but the working title of best team in the country might be associated with Saturday’s winner, as well.

Although Cal has its prestigious history on its side, Saint Mary’s slow climb to college rugby’s Mount Rushmore – which includes National Championship victories in 2014 and ’15 – has left the days of one-sided blowouts between the two East Bay Area schools long in their rearview mirrors.

“Any good team starts with a good coach, and the coaching they receive over there is some of the best in the country,” said Cal All-American center Anthony Salaber. “Couple that with a lot of good players they’ve been able to get over the years – heck, even my little cousin goes to Saint Mary’s.” Click here for full article

March 22, 2017

A Conversation with Tommy Wallace | By: Christian Portillo

smc

Click here to read interview

March 20, 2017

Gaels to Travel to Berkeley to Face #4 Golden Bears | By: Christian Portillo

MORAGA, CALIF. - Almost two years ago, Saint Mary’s, the 2014 D1A National Championship winners, traveled 14 miles to face Cal, the 2014 Penn Mutual Varsity Cup runner-ups, at Witter Rugby Field in Berkeley in what turned out to be a 27-20 thriller win for the UC Berkeley Golden Bears. The Gaels were up 20-11 but gave up 16 unanswered points to lose in heartbreaking fashion. When it was the Gaels’ turn to host the Golden Bears at Saint Mary’s Stadium last year, Cal came away with a 27-14 win.

But all that is in the past. Although the Gaels return some players from that side, such as team captain Kevin O’Connor and Scholz Award nominees Dylan Audsley and Alec Barton, who no doubt have bitter memories of those matches, they are focused solely on the task at hand this upcoming Saturday. Saint Mary’s, although they suffered their first loss of the year at BYU, remain atop the standings of Canterbury’s D1A Top 20 rankings after having the week off while Cal Berkeley dropped a spot to #4 on the list although they absolutely dominated UCLA, USC, and Stanford by winning all three matches by an aggregate score of 299-14 in a span of five days.

#1 Saint Mary’s will play #4 Cal Berkeley at Witter Rugby Field in Berkeley this Saturday, March 25th, at 5:00 P.M. in a match that will be broadcast by the PAC-12 TV Network. This clash between two of the best collegiate rugby programs in the country will be one for the ages as they battle for Bay Area collegiate rugby supremacy. Click here for full article 

March 20, 2017

Saint Mary’s B-Side Defeats Sierra College 95-17 | By: Christian Portillo

MORAGA, CALIF. - Although the A-Side had the day off and the C-Side match against the University of Portland was cancelled, there was still Gael Rugby to be played at the Saint Mary’s Stadium this past Saturday. The B-Side took on Sierra College from Rocklin, California in a full 80 minute match and then 20 minutes of extended play.

Winger Derek Ellingson, the 6’1’’ junior from nearby Walnut Creek, got the Gaels off to a quick, hot start by scoring a try on the right side. Vicente Cunha-Vaz, the sophomore from Portugal, successfully made his first of many conversions.

Although you can usually see him scoring tries for the A-Side, Tommy Wallace was getting some reps with the B-Side and scored a try off of a Kraig Roscoe assist only four minutes into the match. Cunha-Vaz’s conversion was good to give the Gaels an early 14-0 lead. Click here for full article 

March 17, 2017

D1A Rugby | Alex Solomon
CBS SPORTS NETWORK TO AIR D1A RUGBY NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP 

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – USA Rugby is thrilled to announce that the Saturday, May 6, D1A Rugby National Championship to be played at Saint Mary’s Stadium in Moraga, Calif., will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network.

“This is part of a broader plan as we look to build on the initiative we’ve set forth surrounding elite college rugby,” USA Rugby CEO Dan Payne said of the announcement. “This is very positive news for the current year, however, the broader plan includes a multi-year broadcast partner and several commercial partners. Both of which we are currently in discussions with.” Click here to read full article 

smc
Photo credit: Karen Drinkwater

March 11, 2017

BYU Holds off Saint Mary's 

BYU held on to defeat Saint Mary's 35-26 Saturday in Provo in a game where the Cougars made some key improvements from the teams' earlier meeting, and the Gaels made some key mistakes.

Right from the kickoff BYU put Saint Mary's under pressure and within two minutes had sent the ball through the hands to put Jared Whippy over for a try. The Saint Mary's tackling was left wanting on the player, and BYU ld 5-0. The Saint Mary's restart went into touch on the full, giving BYU a scrum at midfield, and from there the Cougars attacked once more. They tried to put Kevin Schofield away, but while the wing was hauled down, some patient work from the Cougars finally put hooker Alex Vorster through on a short ball, and with Calvin Whiting's conversion, BYU ld 12-0. Click here to read full article 

March 11, 2017

Gaels Suffer First Loss of the Year in Rematch At BYU | By: Christian Portillo

PROVO, UTAH - Just three weeks ago, Saint Mary’s got their first win over BYU since 2014. It was an impressive win for the Gaels, who had already played five regular season games up until that point. On the other hand, BYU was just starting to shake all the rust off from the offseason and was still rounding into shape as they had barely played three matches, including a friendly against the professional club Glendale Raptors, before facing the #3 Gaels. The win over the three-time Varsity Cup champions propelled the Gaels into the #1 spot in D1A’s Top 20 rankings, a spot they have kept since then by defeating California Conference rivals Cal Poly and San Diego State by an aggregate of 139 points.

Fast forward to today, and much has changed for the Cougars, although they have not moved from the #4 slot in D1A’s Top 20 rankings. Matt Jensen and Calvin Whiting, who both did not play at Moraga, have returned from a stint with the USA Eagles for the Cougars. When you combine the return of two Eagles along with playing more matches since the 27-12 loss at Saint Mary’s Stadium, it should come as no surprise that this BYU side would be completely different than the one that made a multitude of unforced errors and committed too many silly penalties at Moraga.  Click here to read full article

March 9, 2017

Goff Rugby Report | Alex Goff 
This One's Big

The Gaels defeated BYU 27-12 on February 18 in Moraga, Calif., and since then Saint Mary’s has continued to cut a swath through the opposition.

BYU has been swathing a little bit, too, The Cougars have dominated over the likes of Colorado and Air Force. They get their national team players - Matt Jensen and Calvin Whiting - back for the Gaels, and will want to put in a better performance in the forward pack, for sure.

BYU looked a little tired, especially in the final 20 minutes, against Saint Mary’s, and certainly the Gaels will want to push the pace. Click here to read more

March 7, 2017 

D1A Rugby | Alex Solomon 
Undefeated Saint Mary’s makes San Diego State it’s latest victim

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – San Diego State gave Saint Mary’s its best game thus far in the California Conference, but the 10th-ranked Aztecs were still no match for No. 1 team in the country – falling 57-5 in Moraga, Calif.

Looshead prop Payton Telea scored his first of two tries two minutes into the contest. All-American Dylan Audsley added the conversion and scored a try of his own after eight man Vili Helu dotted down to pace the Gaels to a 17-0 lead. Alec Barton’s try in the 19th minute was the flanker’s fifth of the season and Audsley slotted the conversion to increase the lead to 24-0. San Diego State, however, stymied Saint Mary’s attack for the final 20 minutes of the opening half, while getting on the scoreboard when prop Gilbert Covey IV went over the line to produce a 24-5 score at halftime. Click here to read full article 

March 4, 2017 

Gaels Defeat Aztecs 57-5 in Last Regular Season Home Game | By: Christian Portillo

smc

MORAGA, CALIF. - In the last home game of the regular season at Saint Mary’s Stadium, the #1 Gaels defeated the #10 San Diego State University Aztecs 57-5. The match between two of the top-10 teams in the country started off with Saint Mary’s freshman prop Payton Telea powering through several Aztec defenders for a try in the middle of the goalposts. Dylan Audsley, who did not play last week in the Gaels’ 94-7 win over Cal Poly, came back to make his first conversion of the day and give the Gaels an early 7-0 lead.

About twelve minutes later, fly-half Mike McCarthy, who was situated on the middle-right of the field, chip-kicked the ball to the left corner of the try zone, where the oval-shaped ball took a weird bounce but Vili Helu was able to recover it for the try before it bounced into touch. Although Audsley missed the conversion, he more than made up for it when Tommy Wallace was sprinting down the left sideline and passed to the Scholz Award winner for a try up the middle. Audsley finished the combination by hitting his second conversion to give Saint Mary’s an early 19-0 lead. Click here to read full article

smc

March 3, 2017

D1A Rugby | By: Alex Solomon
California Player of the Month: Asad Braswell and Holden Yungert 

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – Santa Clara’s Asad Braswell has been on an absolute tear, while Holden Yungert and Saint Mary’s College put together a very impressive month of February. The two California Conference players built résumés worthy of Player of the Month recognition. Click here to read full article 

smc

March 3, 2017

#1 Gaels Host #10 San Diego State in Last Home Regular Season Game | By: Christian Portillo

MORAGA, CALIF. - On Saturday, March 4th, the undefeated Saint Mary’s Gaels will play the #10 San Diego State Aztecs at Saint Mary’s Stadium at 1:00 P.M. This California Conference clash is the Gaels’ last regular season home game before they embark on a three game road trip and then head to Ireland and Scotland for the Spring Tour, which is currently only $975 short of being completely funded for in the total of $30,000. Please feel free to donate to the campaign by tonight to ensure that as many Gael ruggers can go on a once-in-a-lifetime experience where they will receive top-notch foreign coaches, get to sightsee and explore the cultures of other countries, and bond as a team as they head into the playoffs.

Saint Mary’s, who climbed to the top of the rankings after beating BYU 27-12, protected their coveted standing by fending off Cal Poly 94-7 last week.  Both Mike and Tommy Wallace had hat tricks while Mike McCarthy showed off his kicking prowess by hitting 12 of 14 conversions in addition to scoring a try. Click here to read full article and interview

February 27, 2017

D1A Rugby | Alex Solomon
Cal Poly no match for top-ranked Saint Mary's

LAFAYTTE, Colo. – The dominant start to Saint Mary’s 2017 season marched all over Cal Poly Saturday, Feb. 25. The Gaels scored at will on their California Conference rival, while limiting the Mustangs to a single try in the 94-7 hammering at Saint Mary’s College Stadium.

Fly half Mike McCarthyscored 17 points and props Henry Hall and Payton Telea were two of the six different Gaels to score tries – in the opening half. Click here to read full article

February 27, 2017 

Goff Rugby Report | Alex Goff
California Conf. Latest, SD state rolling 

Saint Mary's hasn't officially clinched the California Conference, but the Gaels' 94-7 win over a pretty good Cal Poly team reminds everyone that SMCC knows what they're doing.

The Gaels were led by flyhalf Michael McCarthy, who scored 29 points on 12 conversions and a try. Center Michael Wallace score three tries and prop Payton Telea scored two. But more than that, Saint Mary's continued to play defense like they were in a 0-0 tie, and continued to punish any and all mistakes. Click here to read full article 

February 27, 2017

#1 Saint Mary’s Defeats #19 Cal Poly 94-7 | By: Christian Portillo

MORAGA, CALIF. - Days after being anointed the new #1 side on the Canterbury D1A Top 20 rankings because of a quality win over #4 BYU, the Saint Mary’s Gaels took on the #19 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Mustangs on what was expected to be a rainy Saturday at Saint Mary’s Stadium. The match was originally supposed to be played in San Luis Obispo, but due to unplayable field conditions, it was moved to Moraga. Contrary to the local weatherman’s report, it actually turned out to be a great day for rugby with optimal field conditions.

The new #1 side went to work with their hardhats (or scrumcaps, if you will) on as usual, playing great defense throughout the match and holding Cal Poly scoreless for 68 minutes. Although Vili Helu, Chris McDonell, and Dylan Audsley all sat this one out to rest, the “next man up” mentality worked well for the Gaels. The Gaels’ offense did not skip a beat as they cruised to 42 first half points and put up 52 more in the second half. Click here to read full article 

smc

smc

February 24, 2017

Cal Poly Match Moved to Saint Mary’s Stadium | Christian Portillo

MORAGA, CALIF. - The Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Mustangs and Saint Mary’s Gaels were originally scheduled to play Saturday’s match at Cal Poly, but due to unplayable field conditions, the California Conference match will now be played at Saint Mary’s Stadium on Saturday at 1:00 P.M.

The #19 Mustangs defeated Santa Clara 50-19 on the road last week. Senior wing Ivy Adair, who is in his first year of playing rugby, won the D1A Rugby Player of the Week for his performance against the Broncos. He was not the only one who had a good game, as seven different Mustangs all scored tries.

Saint Mary’s had an impressive 27-12 win over BYU last week that catapulted them to the #1 spot on the D1A Top 20 Rankings. This marks the first time the Gaels have been in the #1 spot since they lost the national championship to Life University last year. The previously #3 ranked side in the country was able to top the Cougars with a solid defensive showing and with Dylan Audsley’s kicking prowess, as he scored 12 points of his own just on conversions and penalty goals. Click here to read full article

February 21, 2017

Canterbury D1A Top 20: Week 17 | Alex Solomon
Saint Mary's ranked #1 in week 17 rankings

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – A couple of eye-catching scores from nonconference games involving top-ranked teams was at the core of a small tremor in this week’s Canterbury D1A Rugby Top 20

The most anticipated game of the weekend saw then-ranked No. 3 Saint Mary’s defeat No. 4 BYU, 27-12. In what was arguably the best win posted by any D1A Rugby team, so far this season, the Gaels leap frogged both Cal and Life to take Canterbury’s No. 1 spot for the first time since losing the 2016 D1A National Championship game to Life. Click here to see full rankings 

February 20, 2017 

#3 Gaels Defeat #4 BYU 27-12 | Christian Portillo

MORAGA, CALIF. - On Saturday, two of collegiate rugby’s powerhouses met yet again. #3 Saint Mary’s, well-rested after a bye week, hosted #4 Brigham Young University on what started as a cloudy afternoon at Saint Mary’s Stadium. The two sides have gotten familiar with each other over recent years, having agreed to playing a non-conference home and away series. In 2014, the two sides split the matches. The BYU Cougars won the 2015 series by a grand total of 13 points, winning the first match 32-28 and the second one by a score of 35-26. 2016 was not much better for the Gaels against the Cougars, as they rallied back from a 27-8 deficit only to lose 30-29 at the very end. The away match in Provo, Utah, was an aberration for Saint Mary’s as BYU had their number all match long and easily won 60-15. BYU’s 5-1 record against Saint Mary’s since 2014 took place when they were members of the Varsity Cup and won the Varsity Cup Championship three consecutive years before placing as a runner-up to Cal Berkeley last spring. Click here to read full article 

February 20, 2017

D1A Rugby | Alex Solomon
Defense drives Saint Mary's to win over BYU

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – Saint Mary’s struck first blood in this year’s home-and-away series against BYU Saturday, Feb. 18. A sturdy defensive effort led the hosting Gaels to the 27-12 victory between highly-ranked Canterbury D1A Rugby Top 20 sides.

It’s nearly impossible to prepare for the size and speed of BYU, but Saint Mary’s was feeling confident after a solid week of training.

“The past week of practice was very focused and physical,” described captain Kevin O’Connor. “We knew what type of game they were going to try and play, and it was all a matter of whether we were going to rust and execute the game plan.” Click here to read full article 

smc

 

 

Special Thanks to our Photographers

Mike Geib  Karen Drinkwater  Darren Yamashita