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Cal Rugby Wraps Up Cal Poly 79-26

California’s Golden Bears (24-0, 7-0) put a bow on the College Premier Division regular season  with a 79-26 defeat of the Cal Poly Mustangs (5-6, 2-4) in San Luis Obispo Saturday.


The Mustangs came into the match following a 48-12 victory over UC Davis which snapped a three-match losing streak.


Cal Poly’s high spirits, however, met with a meat grinder line-up of Calformia seniors and underclassmen who gleefully took to the task of running up the scoreline early. Senior flanker Ryan Hodson drew first blood with a try, converted by senior flyhalf Sean Gallinger, within three minutes of the opening kick-off.


By halftime, six Bears had dotted down nine times, hanging a 57-0 shutout on the Mustangs, Junior wing James McTurk snagged a hat trick for tries touched down in 12th, 24th and 27th minutes. Ryan Hodson scored a pair of tries by the time the whistle blew for the interval. 

Freshman fullback Jake Anderson, sophomore hooker Jake Wrobel, freshman lock Patrick Coleman and Sean Gallinger each added tries in the first half.


The second half was a more even match. With a comfortable lead in hand, Cal Coach Jack Clark swapped  in junior Ahmed Chahade for McTurk at the wing and put junior Charles Smith in at the critical flyhalf position.


Five minutes into the second frame, Cal Poly lock Nick Sullivan touched down for the first of four Mustang tries, converted by fullback Dominic Ferri.


Cal’s junior wing Anthony Lombardo answered with a try three minutes later, converted by Smith.


Back-and-forth scores were traded in the 58th, 61st, 63rd, 70th and 74th minutes, bringing the scoreline to 74-26 near fulltime.


Sophomore center Jared Braun then capped the match for the Bears with a try before the final whistle, giving the Cal its seventh CPD victory at 79-26.  


The Mustangs, now fourth in the CPD’s Pacific Conference, will wrap up their season next weekend when they’re hosted by eighth-place Claremont (0-10, 0-6). Claremont fell 20-5 to the previously winless UC Davis Aggies Saturday.


The Bears' next match is a national quarterfinal match against the Mid-South Conference #2 side, Life University (5-1, 4-1). Life was idle this weekend as rival Arkansas State clinched the conference’s top spot with a 52-17 drubbing of Texas A&M.


Cal’s challenge now is maintaining its momentum. BYU (11-0, 6-0), the owner of the Western Conference pole position and a likely contender for the CPD title, hopes the Bears peaked early with the Saint Mary’s match on April 10. 


The Cougars will host either Army or Navy in their May 7 quarterfinal match, but first must face the Western Conference's would-be #2, Arizona State (6-2, 5-1), on the regular season’s final weekend. Utah (13-1, 7-0), however, looks like it's wrapped up the conference's second play-off spot with back-to-back wins against Colorado State and Wyoming this weekend.