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.


D1A Rugby Playoffs | Semifinals

*Click here for D1A Rugby Playoff Bracket

SMC vs. Arizona | TBD | April 29, 2017 | Saint Mary's Stadium




April 25, 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

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 

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


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


March 27, 2017

D1A Rugby | Alex Solomon

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 

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

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


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


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

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 

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


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


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 


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 



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 


February 20, 2017 

Rugby Today | Evan Lappen
Saint Mary's beats BYU for first win in 4 years 

In a clash of top ranked clubs, #2 Saint Mary’s College of California beat #3 Brigham Young University, 27-12, for the first time in four years. BYU had a five game winning streak against Saint Mary’s dating back to 2014. However, on Saturday in Moraga, Calif., the Gaels used BYU’s penalty trouble to their advantage to shut out the Cougars in the first half then outscore their opponent in the second to earn the home victory.

“Composure [on both sides of the ball] and being pretty steady on defense [were keys to the game],” Saint Mary’s head coach Tim O’Brien said. “We were patient and real steady on defense. A lot of trust and confidence in each other.” Click here to read full article 

February 20, 2017

Goff Rugby Report | Alex Goff
Saint Mary's In Control Over BYU 

Saint Mary’s defeated BYU 27-12 Saturday in a meeting of the #3 and #4 teams in Goff Rugby Report’s all-DI rankings, and it was a pretty impressive performance by the Gaels.

Before the game, captain Kevin O’Connor told Goff Rugby Report that his team had to play the full 80 minutes, and put a ton of defensive pressure on the Cougars. That is exactly what Saint Mary’s did. Click here to read full article 


February 16, 2017 

Goff Rugby Report | Alex Goff
Game of the Weekend? BYU at Saint Mary's 

After so much buildup, one of the biggest matchups of the college rugby season is here, with #3 Saint Mary’s facing off with #4 BYU.

Both teams have won major titles in recent years, and have developed a nice ongoing rivalry, as well. This year things are somewhat different in that Brigham Young is now looking toward the DIA postseason, not the Varsity Cup. The Gaels and the Cougars play each other twice this spring, and could well play one more time in the DIA playoffs.

For the Cougars, it’s been a good enough start, with convincing victories over Cal Poly and San Diego State. They followed that up with a 57-12 loss to a very strong Glendale Raptors men’s club last week. With an experienced and opportunistic back row, some superb finishers out wide, and a tough and big tight five, they are the full package, and Saint Mary’s captain Kevin O’Connor knows it. Click here to read full article 

February 16, 2017 

D1A Rugby | Alex Solomon 
Saint Mary's hosts BYU in Top 5 non-conference clash 

After rolling through their respective competitions early in the year, #3 Saint Mary’s and #4 BYU are set to rumble in the first of two 2017 matchups Saturday afternoon, which will be streamed live, beginning at 1 PM PT.

And while these two teams meet again four weeks from now, revenge is still on the menu in Saturday’s game nonetheless. The Gaels and Cougars have met twice a season the past few years, splitting contests in 2014. Since then BYU has come out victorious in each meeting; their most recent outing resulted in a lopsided 60-15 victory nearly a year ago, but only once in the last four meetings was a game decided by nine points or less. Click here to read the full article 

February 2, 2017

Saint Mary’s vs. Air Force Match Preview | By: Christian Portillo

MORAGA, CALIF. - After a successful January that saw the Gaels go undefeated in four home matches, Saint Mary’s will begin play in February by traveling to the Air Force Academy in Colorado to play the #15 Air Force Zoomies in a D1A non-conference match. The match will take place on Saturday, February 4th, at 1:00 P.M. at the USAFA Men’s Rugby pitch. Click here to read full article 

February 2, 2017

Alex Solomon | D1A Rugby 
California Player of the Month: Alec Barton 

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – Third-ranked Saint Mary’s College is stacked in the backrow. Three AIG Men’s Collegiate All-Americans lineup in the No. 6, 7 and 8 jerseys and backup flanker Marcus Viscardi, who Head Coach Tim O’Brien thinks is the best reserve in college rugby, is a beast in his own right. Still, no player in the California Conferencehas had a better month of January than Player of the Month and Gaels openside flanker Alec Barton.

January saw Saint Mary’s play four matches and win them all – handedly. Victories over Arizona StateUC Santa BarbaraUtah and Santa Clara saw Barton score six tries while showing off his versatility by playing minutes in the second row, as well.

The Gaels coaching staff doesn’t seem to be surprised by Barton’s boisterous start to the season. Few players on the Saint Mary’s roster work harder in the offseason than the senior from San Diego. Click here to read full article 

January 31, 2017 

Alex Goff | Goff Rugby Report
Player Spotlight- Alec Barton 

In the torrid start that the Saint Mary’s Gaels have enjoyed this winter so far, the back row has been at the center of everything.

You know the names, right? Vili Helu, Kevin O’Connor and … the other guy. That other guy would be Alec Barton. The least well-known of the Gaels back row, Barton may well be playing the best of all of them. Barton normally suits up in the #7 jersey, but he’s a tall, rangy player with power, and so often moves up to the second row in the second half. 

“It’s been pretty interesting this year,” said Barton. “My role has changed a lot since freshman year. I’ve been starting a lot at #7 and usually we bring in another loose forward at halftime - Marcus Viscardi is an absolute animal with a knack for finding the ball. He goes in at loose forward and I go to lock. It’s been fun. I am getting to understand the field from a different position, and it’s got me paying attention to aspects of the game I didn’t pay attention to before.”

Always trying to learn, Barton has, said Head Coach Tim O’Brien, broken out this year as a player who can do it all. Click here to read the full article 

Photo taken by: Mike Geib 

January 31, 2017

Alex Solomon | D1A Rugby 
Saint Mary's, UC Santa Barbara victorious in California 

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – Saint Mary’s went over the century mark in its dominant win over Santa Clara, while UC Santa Barbara welcomed Sacramento State back to the California Conference by downing the Hornets, 41-15.

Saint Mary’s 106 – 15 Santa Clara
To little surprise, Canterbury’s third-ranked Gaels are putting up massive numbers in just the first month of their season. Their latest victim, Santa Clara, went to Moraga, Calif. and left Saint Mary’s College with an 89-point loss.

The Broncos, who have made a habit of traded blows with the California champions in the opening stages of matches, took its lone lead when Adam Leonard’s try was converted. The 7-5 advantage would be short-lived, however. Click here to read full article 

January 29, 2017 

Alex Goff | Goff Rugby Report 
Saint Mary's big over Broncos

Saint Mary's might have given up 15 points to Santa Clara Saturday, a fact that could give the Broncos some cause for celebration, but in response, the Gaels managed 106 on their way to yet another massive win in a season of massive wins.

The Gaels moved the ball quickly and effectively through much of the game, and started off with flanker Alec Barton, who has been on a tear lately, getting a try to open the scoring. The Gaels put on some defensive pressure from the kickoff, forced a turnover, and sent it wide immediately. Click here to read full article 

The Ulimate Sports Guide Photos. Click Here.  By Darren Yamashita

Men's Rugby

January 28, 2017

Saint Mary's Finishes Homestand with a 106-15 Defeat of Santa Clara | By: Christian Portillo

MORAGA, CALIF. - For their second match of California Conference play, Saint Mary’s took on the Santa Clara University Touring Side on a beautiful day for rugby at Saint Mary’s Stadium.

Saint Mary’s scored 16 tries on the day and Dylan Audsley successfully converted 13 of them on the way to 106 points. Chris McDonnell led the way with four tries while both Alec Barton and  Mike Wallace had two tries each. 11 different players scored a try for the Gaels. Click here to read the full article 


January 25, 2017

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

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. Click here to read the full article 


January 24, 2017

D1A Rugby | Alex Solomon
Dominant first half leads to Saint Mary's win over Utah 

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – Saint Mary’s College used a dominant first half performance to defeat the visiting Utah Utes, 55-12, in a nonconference match featuring two of Canterbury’s D1A Rugby top-15 teams.

The Gaels jumped all over Utah from the opening whistle on a soggy pitch in Moraga, Calif. Aaron Matthews, Holden Yungert, Mike Wallace and Chris McDonnell each scored tries and All-American eight man Vili Helu dotted down twice before the Utes could get on the scoreboard. Click here to read the full article 

January 23, 2017

Goff Rugby Report | Alex Goff
A Closer Look at SMC Over Utah

For the Gaels, the first half was pretty much what they wanted. They pushed aside any concerns about wet weather and rain, and just played, setting up Aaron Matthews for the opening try with some smooth passing down the line. 

Scrumhalf Holden Yungert dove over a ruck after a long period of forwards bashing at the Utah goalline. Then flanker Alec Barton forced a Utah drop off the Utes’ eightman pick and the ball went out to Matthews, who ghosted through a gap and popped a well-timed offload to Mike Wallace. Click here to read the full article 

January 21, 2017

Gaels Defeat Utah 55-12 in a Semifinal Rematch | By: Christian Portillo

MORAGA, CALIF. - In a rematch of the 2016 USA Rugby National Championship Semifinals, #3 Saint Mary’s took on #14 Utah at Saint Mary’s Stadium for their second non-conference match of the young spring season. The end outcome was similar to the Semifinals as the Gaels walked away with a 55-12 victory over the Utes, marking two straight matches in which Saint Mary’s has defeated Utah by a margin of over 40 points since narrowly defeating them by a late converted try 57-50 during last year’s regular season matchup in Salt Lake City. Click here to read full article 


January 18, 2017

#3 Saint Mary’s Gaels to Host #14 Utah Utes | By: Christian Portillo

MORAGA, CALIF. - For the penultimate match of a four-game homestand, Saint Mary’s will host the Utah Utes on Saturday, January 21st, at Saint Mary’s Stadium. Last year, these two highly ranked teams were slated to play each other twice, but were only able to play once as weather delays prevented the Utes from making the trip to Moraga. However, the match in Salt Lake City more than made up for the cancellation with an exciting bout of rugby that saw the Gaels escape with a tight 57-50 win over the Utes. This past Saturday, Utah won their initial match of the spring against Dixie State 56-15 while Saint Mary’s defeated UC Santa Barbara 94-0. History runs deep between these two sides, as they split the 2015 regular season series 1-1 before a rubber match during the 2015 USA Rugby National Championship Quarterfinals, which saw Saint Mary’s defeat Utah 72-26 on their way to winning their second consecutive national championship. The two well-respected programs also met last year in the 2016 USA Rugby National Championship Semifinals, where the Gaels pulled away 81-32 to advance to their fourth straight national championship game, where they ultimately fell short.

January 16, 2017

Pat Clifton | Rugby Today
Five More Teams Join Penn Mutual CRC 

With the addition of Arkansas State, Arizona State, St. Mary's, Tennessee and Wisconsin, there are now only three spots left to be filled for the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship June 3-4, 2017 at Talen Energy Stadium in Philadelphia. These additions, announced Monday, put the tournament on a path to having its most competitive field to date. Click here to read full article 

January 14, 2017

Gaels Defeat UCSB Gauchos 94-0 G | By: Christian Portillo

MORAGA, CALIF. - The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos made the trip up north from beautiful Isla Vista to the quiet town of Moraga. The talented, albeit young, team came into the match more concerned about how they play as a team than they cared about the final score against a team that has appeared in the national championship four years in a row. This strategy employed by Coach Tim Lewis was the right one, as Saint Mary’s defeated his Gauchos 94-0. Read more here. 

Photo courtesy of Mike Geib

More photos can be found here.

January 16, 2017

Alex Solomon | D1A Rugby
Saint Mary's Opens California Conference Play with shutout over UC Santa Barbara 

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – A week after hammering Arizona State 96-0, Saint Mary’s shut out UC Santa Barbara by the same margin to open the California Conference season.

The third-ranked Gaels scored 47 of their 96 points in the first half. Winger Tommy Wallace ran in a hat trick, while Mike Wallace, Payton Telea, Vili Helu and Kevin O’Connor each dotted down once. All-American Dylan Audsley, slotting in at full back instead of his usual spot in the centers, was held without a try on the afternoon but managed to split the uprights on his first six conversion attempts. Click here to read full article

January 14, 2017

Alex Goff | Goff Rugby Report
Saint Mary's Thumps UCSB

Saint Mary's defeated UC Santa Barbara 94-0 Saturday in the opening game of the DIA California Conference season.

The game, amazingly, was much more competitive than the score might indicate, especially early in the game. Much of the first half was spent in Saint Mary's territory, but the Gauchos could not breach the Gael's tryline. Saint Mary's committed way too many penalties, and found themselves defending lineouts, scrums, and tap penalties close to their goal line. 

However, mistakes by UCSB and some snappy tackling from Saint Mary's prevented the Gauchos from scoring. Saint Mary's got their first try when they pressured the UCSB backline around midfield. The ball hit the deck and Tommy Wallace scooped it up and raced in. Then, UCSB has one of their longest period inside the Saint Mary's 22. However, when working a backline move off a lineout, they bobbled the ball and Michael Wallace nabbed the ball and galloped 90 meters for a try. Dylan Audsley made the difficult conversion for a 14-0 lead. Click here to read the full article

January 13, 2017

Saint Mary’s vs. UC Santa Barbara Match Preview | By Christian Portillo

MORAGA, CALIF. - After starting the season with a 96-0 win over Arizona State last Friday, Saint Mary’s will continue their homestand this Saturday, January 14th, against UC Santa Barbara at 1:00P.M. at Saint Mary’s Stadium. The Gaels will look to build on their strong start to the season against the Gauchos in the first bout of California Conference play for both squads.

January 6, 2017  | SMC 96- ASU 0

Alex Goff | Goff Rugby Report 
The Saint Mary's Gaels put Arizona State to the sword in an early January clash between the two top-level collegiate teams.

Arizona State hasn't played any games but has been in winter camp, and finished up that camp in Moraga, Calif, hosted by the Gaels. Still working on its pattern, the Sun Devils team was confronted with a Saint Mary's team that has several preseason games under its belt dating back to November. The game itself wasn't the prettiest, but Saint Mary's took control, punishing little ASU mistakes and working nicely together to turn static ball into go-forward ball. Click here to read more


 View Game Photos Here

January 9, 2017

Gaels Begin New Year with shutout win over Arizona State | D1A Rugby by Alex Solomon

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – Saint Mary’s appeared to be in midseason form during its 96-0 drumming of visiting Arizona State. The Sun Devils used the backend of its winter break to train in Moraga, Calif. with the Gaels.  The combined sessions, however, did little to prepare Arizona State for a well-organized Saint Mary’s unit. Click here to read more


January 5, 2016

Arizona State, St. Mary's train together ahead of nonconference bout | D1A Rugby by Alex Solomon

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – Arizona State and Saint Mary’s are giving college rugby fans their first taste of action in the New Year. The two sides are set to go at it Friday, Jan. 6, at Saint Mary’s College, but the Sun Devils have been in Moraga, Calif., the past few days training alongside the two-time D1A Rugby National Championship winners.

“Our programs have mutual respect for each other and thought it would be a fun idea to use the time before our respective schools start to work together,” said Arizona State Head Coach Gary Lane. “The purpose is to give each team quality opposition.” 

“We’re always looking to learn and share,” Saint Mary’s Head Coach Tim O’Brien added of the combined training sessions. Click here to read more

December 15, 2016

St. Mary's Defeats Santa Monica | This is American Rugby 

The St. Mary's Gaels continued their fall portion of their schedule with a two match swing through Southern California over the weekend. First up was the Santa Monica Dolphins. As expected with a pre-season match and with Santa Monica just starting to get ready for their SoCal DI season both teams rotated through a number of players. Santa Monica dominated the outside channels on their way to a 22-12 halftime lead but in the second half the Gaels rebounded to win 44-22.
Click here to read the full article 

November 18, 2016

Gaels Continue Preseason Play Against UC Santa Cruz and Interview with Alec Barton
By: Christian Portillo

MORAGA, CALIF. - After a successful win over Chico State to begin the preseason, the Saint Mary’s rugby team will get the ball rolling on the road against UC Santa Cruz this Saturday at 12 noon. Right after the A side match, the B side will take on the Banana Slugs as well. Coach Tim O’Brien expects 45 Gael ruggers to play for at least forty minutes over the course of the two matches. Although the pitch may be wet in Santa Cruz, the Gaels will go out with a full head of steam ready to attack and play a fast and wide game.

Gael Rugby was able to catch up with San Diego native Alec Barton to talk about his path to Saint Mary’s, the rich tradition of the Gaels, and how he plans to approach his last year of collegiate rugby.

*Note: This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

On his start in rugby and his path to becoming an All-American at Saint Mary’s…

I was first exposed to rugby when I watched my brother play when I was in eighth grade. I started playing my freshman year of high school, really enjoyed it, and made it a priority. I made it at Saint Mary’s because there were many connections between my club team and Saint Mary’s. After visiting SMC, I realized it was a really good atmosphere and that I wanted to play a high level of college rugby.
Click here to read the full article

November 12, 2016

Win Over Chico State
By: Christian Portillo


MORAGA, CALIF. - The Saint Mary’s Men’s Rugby team picked up right where they left off last year in their first preseason match of the year against Chico State. Playing right after the C Side played Santa Rosa Junior College to a 24-24 standstill before the official called the game, the Gaels never skipped a beat, scoring two converted tries within the opening five minutes of the match.

Tommy Wallace sprinted down the left sideline for a try before Kevin O’Connor managed to score a try of his own to give the Gaels a 28-0 lead. Wallace broke through Chico State’s defense and offloaded the ball to Alejandro Duran, who took it to the house for a 38-0 advantage. Jack Carso also passed to Holden Yungert for a converted try on the left sideline moments later to give the Gaels a 45-0 lead. Before the half, Saint Mary’s scored two more tries to lead 55-0. You could not put your head down for one second without missing a Saint Mary’s try.
Click here to read the full article 

November 9, 2016

Gaels Return to the Pitch Against Chico State
By: Christian Portillo

MORAGA, CALIF. - Saint Mary’s Rugby is back! The Gaels will make their long anticipated return to the pitch on Saturday, November 12, after losing to Life University in the National Championship last year in heartbreaking fashion. Although it is only preseason, it will be interesting to see how the Gaels set the tone for the regular season starting on Saturday at Pat Vincent Field. Saint Mary’s will take on the Santa Rosa Junior College team at 11:30 A.M before the A Side plays Chico State at 12:30 P.M., with the final match of the day coming at 2:00 P.M. against Chico State as well. All matches will consist of two 40 minutes halves with a running clock and 54 total ruggers are anticipated to play.

October 24, 2016

Day 1 of West Coast Sevens:

SMC 28- UCSB 0
SMC 21- SDSU 12
SMC 0- U of A 5

The Gaels started day 2 tournament off with a Quarter-final match up against UCLA 31-7, and then beat a tough ASU team in a close Semi-final battle 17-14.

Day 2 of West Coast Sevens: 

Cup OFs: SMC 31- UCLA 7
Cup SFs: SMC 17- ASU 14
Cup Finals: SMC 14- U of A 19 

Goff Rugby Report | By: Alex Goff 
In the final, Arizona worked the ball impressively and ran out to a 14-0 lead. Saint Mary’s got into penalty trouble - at one point being down to five players - and Arizona held on 1912. Click here for a summary of the tournament - Link to more pictures

October 21, 2016

Treasure Island Tournament and Interview with Kevin O’Connor

By: Christian Portillo

MORAGA, CALIF. - After placing second in the first leg of the 6th Annual West Coasts Sevens Tournament in San Luis Obispo two weeks ago, Saint Mary’s will be on the pitch again this weekend as part of the SFGG sponsored tournament at Treasure Island. Click here to read more and Kevin's interview



Special Thanks to our Photographers

Mike Geib  Karen Drinkwater  Darren Yamashita