- Two California Conference matches took place in: #4 St. Marys vs UC Santa Barbara, and #21 Grand Canyon vs Cal Poly
- Wrap-up of the Dennis Storer, which eventual champs, Cal Rugby take home the top prize
- MLR and D1A crossover match between Old Glory and #5 Navy
On January 10th #4 St. Mary’s helped kick off D1A rugby’s spring season with a blowout victory over hosts UC Davis 97-0. Fullback Edward King would be the first to score for St. Marys in the second minute of the match. The Gaels would go on to score 45 points in the first half, with lock Angelo Aguire scoring the last try before halftime. Winger Erich Storti led the team with three tries on the day, while outside center Derek Ellingson made eight conversions before being subbed off late in the second half.
This past weekend on January 18th, the fourth ranked St. Mary’s travelled to take on UC Santa Barbara, for the Gaels’ third divisional matchup. Flanker Jonathon Hackett opened the scoring for St. Mary’s with a try in the 20th minute. Soon after UCSB would strike back, scoring through flanker Oliver Wallace before taking the lead on the following conversion. The Gaels would go on to regain the lead before halftime, ending the half up 22-7 thanks Hackett’s second try of the half and two tries from outside center Erich Storti. Saint Mary’s would hold on to the lead, adding two second half tries from fly half Karl Keane. UCSB would score two more tries in the second half, with their final try being scored by reserve back Willie Mein to close the game. St. Mary’s beat a competitive UCSB side, with the final score 36-17.
#21 Grand Canyon University hosted Cal Poly on Sunday for each side’s first D1A game of the year. GCU was able to overcome an early red card to Samuel Muter, to win 13-10 at home. The Lopes lone try was scored by hooker Rayden Tuaua in the 45th minute of the match. This match was as expected as a tight-knit score leading up to the kickoff, and proved to be so until the final whistle. Each club showed their strength in defense and traded blow for blow for the entirety of the match. And even more impressive that Grand Canyon had played with 14 men for a total of 50 minutes during the match. The game ended on a heartbreaking call as the Mustangs last minute scoring attempt was halted by being held up in the try-zone, ultimately letting the Lopes come away with the season opener victory.
Dennis Storer Classic
UCLA hosted their annual Dennis Storer Classic this weekend, as teams from all across California ascended on the Los Angeles campus to compete in the tournament. The Dennis Storer Classic ran for two days as teams competed in several abbreviated 15’s matches to prepare for the season ahead. Two D1A teams, #2 Cal and #19 UCLA, would compete in the tournament and play in the final game of the weekend. Prior to playing facing off with UCLA, Cal easily defeated UC Santa Cruz 48-3 and UC San Diego 59-7.
UCLA had gone 2-0 in the first couple matches, prior facing Cal, and after defeating UC San Diego and Claremont the day before. The home-side took an early lead, converting a penalty kick in the 2nd minute of the game. The Bruins would go on to shutout Cal in the first half, entering halftime up 3-0. Cal would respond early in the second half though, as winger Marcus Shankland would score in the first five minutes. Shankland would go on to score his second try in the dying seconds of the game to seal the win for Cal, 19-8 over the hosts UCLA.
Major League Rugby and D1A Rugby Crossover
#5 Navy travelled to take on Old Glory DC in the MLR expansion team’s first preseason match of the year. Despite the daunting task ahead of them, Navy was able to hang with the professional side in the first half. The Midshipmen ended the first half down 33-14 and were putting in a competitive performance against a fully professional rugby side comprised of elite athletes from around the world. Old Glory outscored Navy 57-7 in the second half, winning 90-21 over the collegiate side. Although the game got away from them in the second half, it was a great opportunity for Navy and their players to play against a professional rugby team.
Final Scores Across the Regular Season Matches
|1/18/2020||#4 St Mary’s||at||UC Santa Barbara||36 – 17|
|1/19/2020||Cal Poly||at||#21 Grand Canyon||10 – 13|