GRR on X  GRR on Facebook GRR in Instagram GRR Vimeo Library GRR on YouTube RuggaMatrix America Podcasts Support GRR on Patreon

Cal Hosts Cal Poly

irish rugby tours

Cal Hosts Cal Poly

Cal and Cal Poly met in 7s last fall. David Barpal photo.

BERKELEY, Calif. – It's time for full, 80-minute rugby as Cal hosts Cal Poly this weekend at Witter Rugby Field in Berkeley. 

Cal comes into the weekend having swept (again) the Storer Classic. Cal Poly, meanwhile, is 1-0 after beating Santa Barbara City College 26-22 in a warmup.

“It is important to continue to improve our accuracy,” said Cal Head Coach Jack Clark. “Even though unforced errors could be explained away as early-season woes, we are capable of a cleaner performance than we had in Los Angeles.”

The Mustangs won their season opener last weekend in San Luis Obispo, where Cal Poly defeated Santa Barbara City College, 26-22. The visitors will be led by first-year head coach James Tesoriero, who arrived on the U.S. Central Coast from Australia, where he was head coach for the Randwick Colts in 2012-13.

In their last 15s meeting, on March 9, 2014, the Bears defeated the Mustangs, 95-14, in San Luis Obispo on 15 tries by seven players. Then-sophomore Harry Adolphus scored 35 points on 10-of-15 conversion kicking and three tries.

Adolphus is a likely choice to start at flyhalf for the Bears as incumbent Russell Webb gets the weekend off. Eakalafi Okusi and Anthony Salaber appear to be tapped to wear No. 12 and 13 at inside and outside center, and co-captain Jake Anderson should be manning the fullback position. Jesse Milne and Miles Honens are the likely choices for Cal on the wings, with starter Andrew Battaglia also getting a weekend pass.

In the forwards, the Bears look to return their first-choice front row of Scott Walsh, Michael Bush and George Vrame in the starting lineup. James Kondrat could be joined at lock by Sione Sina. Co-captain Alec Gletzer should start with the opposite flanker spot taken by Nick Salaber, and No. 8 is likely to be filled by Connor Sweet or Edward Tandy.

“Technical objectives aside, it will be fun to open our Strawberry Canyon account on Saturday,” said Clark about the privilege of starting Cal’s home schedule. “I know our boys are looking forward to the challenge and the occasion.”

Tesoriero is of course new to coaching against Cal, but he got a tour of the school's impressive High Performance Center and was impressed, but not paralyzingly so. 

"We're coming into it at full strength, so that's good," said the Mustangs coach. "We've been training well since the guys got back to school. After this game we'll know a little more about who we are.Cal look big, fit, fast, and extremely clinical, so we will be expecting them to be that. We're going to ave to focus on our own strategies and patterns. We've got a pretty good attacking pattern if it's well executed. But the key is, we can't give possession away cheaply. If we do we'll spend most of the game defending and against a disciplined team like Cal that will be difficult."


(This report includes information from a Cal Rugby release.)