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Photo by Kevin Leusing

Bears Defeat Mustangs, Advance To Quarterfinals

April 8, 2023

BERKELEY – California rugby rolled past Cal Poly 82-15 in the first round match of the 2023 National Collegiate Championships at Witter Rugby Field on Saturday. The Golden Bears will now advance to the quarterfinals round next weekend.

“We’re pleased to advance,” Cal head coach Jack Clark said. “Congratulations to the Mustangs, they won a lot of matches this season.”

The Bears struck early in the match with senior winger Max Clark touching down in the tryzone just two minutes in. Eight minutes later, the Mustangs were awarded a penalty and opted to take points off a penalty kick conversion to make it 5-3.

At the 17th minute, senior No. 8 Alex Aguero fought past the Cal Poly defense and scored a try. Junior lock Tom Dixon followed suit and bulldozed his way past the tryline for a score at minute 21.

Cal’s backline then took over the scoresheet for the remainder of the half with freshman center Rand Santos stepping his way into the tryzone to put another five points on the board in the 24th minute. Sophomore fullback Joe Kirsten dummied his way past the Mustangs’ defense for a try three minutes later and Clark dotted down his second of the day at minute 38 to extend the Bears’ lead. Senior co-captain Max Schumacher added the extras on three tries to make it 36-3 in favor of Cal at the intermission.

The Bears continued to dominate the scoreboard in the second half, beginning with a try by freshman center Max Threlkeld six minutes in that was converted by Schumacher. Three minutes later, Cal’s forward pack went to work and carried well to send a ball in with junior prop Charlie Walsh. Santos then ran his second try of the day in at minute 52.

Cal Poly found space and scored a converted try at minute 55, but the Bears answered with a try by freshman scrumhalf Solomon Williams. Dixon pushed his second score of the day in only three minutes later and junior winger Evan Weigold added another try at minute 72. Senior flanker Luke Freeman scored off an attacking lineout four minutes later.

The Mustangs scored a try off of the restart in the 77th minute, but the Bears did well to answer on the final possession of the day, with Kirsten running in a ball in minute 79. Seniors Nate Salter and Alex Brundage each contributed successful conversion kicks in the second half to make the final score 82-15 in the end.

“Credit to Cal Poly for their performance today,” Schumacher said. “We appreciate them.”  

With their win today, Cal now advances to the quarterfinals which is set to take place against the Saint Mary’s Gaels next Saturday in Moraga. Information on kickoff time and how to watch the match is to come.

Scoring Timeline:

Cal vs. Cal Poly

2:00 – Clark 5

10:00 – Cal Poly 3

17:00 – Aguero 5

21:00 – Dixon 5, Schumacher 2

24:00 – Santos 5, Schumacher 2

27:00 – Kirsten 5, Schumacher 2

38:00 – Clark 5

Half: Cal 36, Cal Poly 3

46:00 – Threlkeld 5, Schumacher 2

49:00 – Walsh 5

52:00 – Santos 5

55:00 – Cal Poly 5, Cal Poly 2

65:00 – Williams 5, Salter 2

68:00 – Dixon 5

72:00 – Weigold 5

76:00 – L. Freeman 5, Brundage 2

77:00 – Cal Poly 5

79:00 – Kirsten 5

Final: Cal 82, Cal Poly 15

Starting XV:

1. Emilio Shea 2. Cade Crist 3. Charlie Walsh 4. Pat Deely 5. Tom Dixon 6. Luke Freeman 7. Cal Liebowitz 8. Alex Aguero 9. Solomon Williams 10. Max Schumacher 11. Max Clark 12. Rand Santos 13. Max Threlkeld 14. Evan Weigold 15. Joe Kirsten


40:00 – Jon Puckett

47:00 – Alex Brundage

50:00 – Hugo Schreuder

51:00 – Nate Salter

54:00 – Mack Fell

68:00 – Kealan O’Connell, Mats Dodd

76:00 – Lance Hackett

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Bears Defeat Mustangs, Advance To Quarterfinals

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