Photo courtesy of Cal Poly rugby

Adriana Catanzarite
Special to Mustang News

Cal Poly’s club rugby team defeated the University of Wyoming last week in the first round of the Division 1A playoffs to advance to the quarterfinals on Saturday.

After Wyoming tied the match at seven in the early going, No. 6 Cal Poly rattled off 39 straight points to seal the win.

The Mustangs will play against Arkansas State University, ranked third in the country, in Jonesboro, Ark. Last year, Cal Poly made it to the semifinals before losing to St. Mary’s. According to team captain Alex Frost, the Mustangs are looking to go all the way this year.

“It’s going to be a hard-fought game,” Frost said. “But we’ve worked hard this year, and I think we have a good chance to move forward.”

The sport originated at Cal Poly in the 1960’s. A football player helped to create the club rugby team after suffering an injury that prevented him from continuing his gridiron career. More recently, the club has been a ranked in the top 10 nationally for the past three years.

David Burnett, the head coach since 2011, said its a testament to the focus and determination of the team and the coaching staff that they’ve made it this far. Burnett said the aim is for the athletes to play an intelligent game in order to win.

“We just have to be very clinical in everything we do,” said Burnett. “We have to take every single opportunity on offense and we have to have a strong defense. Defense wins championships, it doesn’t matter what sport it is.”

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