Ryan Chartrand

After winning its past three matches by a combined score of 192-8, the Cal Poly rugby club team will face an entirely new challenge tonight – or, more specifically, one from an entirely different part of the country.

In their first outing against an East Coast team this season, the No. 8 Mustangs will host No. 19 Penn State at 6 tonight at the Cal Poly Sports Complex.

“It’ll expose us to different levels of rugby between the East and the West,” said Cal Poly fly half Doug Marshall.

Marshall explained for the most part, the Mustangs don’t know quite what to expect in terms of differences in style of play between Penn State and the eight western clubs they’ve faced thus far.

“It will be nice to see how the different styles match up,” he said.

Mustangs lock Luke Callahan is equally anxious about the possible clash in the teams’ approaches.

“Typically, East Coast teams are more forward-driven teams,” Callahan said. “It’s exciting because they’re an East Coast team and we’re always ranked relative to (those). It’ll be nice to see how good they are. Our team’s really coming together and playing strong.”

Cal Poly, which crushed Long Beach State 61-5 Saturday, UC San Diego 95-3 March 1 and UC Santa Barbara 36-0 Feb. 22 and stands at 7-1 in Southern California Rugby Football Union play, focused on consistency following its 29-26 loss to San Diego State on Feb. 16, Marshall said.

“We came out with a different attitude,” he said. “It’s about playing a full game and staying with it.”

Despite possible surprises on their behalf, it doesn’t seem as if the Nittany Lions, whose tour of California also includes stops at fellow SCRFU clubs UC Santa Barbara and Claremont, should necessitate any changes in strategy on the Mustangs’ part.

“It’ll be a really good chance for us to see how the different styles of play go, and a pretty good match-up,” said Mustangs reserve loosehead prop Aaron Bordenave. “We just need to focus on playing our game, and the way we have been doing stuff.”

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