After steamrolling past the University of San Diego 102-13 on Saturday, wrapping up its second league championship in three years, Cal Poly’s club rugby team could not be playing any better. After missing out on postseason action just a year ago, the Mustangs are headed to Berkeley for the sweet sixteen.
It did not take Cal Poly long to get on the scoreboard against USD. In the opening moments of the game, Cal Poly scored three times. Cal Poly did not let up, scoring 16 tries throughout the course of the game. A try is essentially equivalent to a touchdown in football, only it’s worth five points. Cal Poly also had 11 successful conversions after tries that count for two points.
“It feels great to win league like this,” flanker Jesse Dundon said. “We pretty much dominated everyone we played in this league.”
Trenton Yackzan and John Tuttle had great games, both collecting hat tricks. Ed Pitts and Bobby Van Hollebeke also played well each scoring twice. Ryan Fry also added a powerful score.
Cal Poly wasn’t really tested in any of their league games. Besides losses to the No. 2 team in the nation, Brigham Young University, in February and New Mexico State over spring break at the Cal Invitational, Cal Poly has not really been tested.
“We know we are going to have to step our game up in the playoffs, we feel were playing well, but know we have to keep getting better to make a run in the playoffs,” wing Trenton Yackzan said. “If we keep playing like this we feel we can play with anyone in the country.”
Cal Poly has playoff experience on this team. In 2004, Cal Poly made it to the National Championship game before losing to Cal. Several starters from that team are on the current squad, such as: Ronnie Rosser, Chris Williams and Ed Pitts.
Cal Poly will face Purdue in the first round and with a win would likely face BYU in a highly-anticipated rematch.