BOULDER, Colo. – No. 1-ranked Saint Mary’s hosts Cal Poly Saturday, March 1, in this week’s D1A Match of the Week.
The Gaels are 1-0 in California Conference play, but their 2014 résumé includes a host of impressive wins, including a 30-24 triumph against Brigham Young University. Cal Poly currently sits at no. 8 in D1A Rugby’s Top 20, and might pose the greatest conference challenge for Saint Mary’s this season.
In the 2013 conference matchup between the two schools, Cal Poly took a lead into halftime. However, Saint Mary’s came storming back to eventually overcome the Mustangs, 41-31. The teams’ second meeting of the season came in D1A’s Semifinal contest. At that point of the season Saint Mary’s had truly hit its stride and ran away from Cal Poly in a 58-29 win.
Head Coach Dave Burnett and the rest of the Cal Poly coaching staff are plenty aware of the rampant success Saint Mary’s has had as of late, but the Mustangs will bring a confident group to Moraga, Calif.
“We know they’re strong and they’ll be well prepared,” acknowledged Burnett. “It’s always a great match when we play Saint Mary’s and it has become a great rivalry. We know we are good enough to challenge them, to take them on and to win. We also know that in a match against a team of this caliber you have to be well prepared and execute on the day.”
The schools will be playing three full matches against one another, as each program is deep enough to dress a second and third XV. As impressive as their top units are, the depth of the programs are notable and rare at the college level.