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Key Seedings Results in D1A

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Key Seedings Results in D1A

Saint Mary's vs Cal. David Barpal photo.

In the final D1A weekend before the rankings and playoff seedings come out, here's what we have so far:

Saint Mary's beat Cal on a late try. With the score 26-24 in favor of Saint Mary's, Cal found a gap near the Saint Mary's line and then sent it wide for a try by Cal's top try-scorer, wing Joe Kirsten. With the conversion Cal led 31-26 with 17 minutes to go. Saint Mary's, playing without their captain, Kaiponi Koyashi, who is injured, found a way to bounce back.

With 15 to go Cal was pinged for offside in the middle of the field. Saint Mary's got a perfect touchfinder from Erich Storti and from that lineout the Gaels faked a maul and went wide. Inoke Waqavesi sold a couple of sidesteps and garnered enough attention that were that space for an inside ball to Dom Besag who burst through an inside channel. That tide it up 31-31.

Besag scored four tries in the game, including one in which he was caught, dead to rights, and somehow eluded three tacklers to crash over.

Time wound down to less than three minutes to go and Saint Mary's threatened again. They bashed their forwards to the line, and then Waqavesi, just moved from flyhalf to scrumhalf in the final moments, faked a jink to the right and cut back. He was dragged down but was able to stretch over to score under the posts. Storti converted and it was 38-31.

Cal had the ball for several minutes but eventually a loose offload was forced, the Gaels nabbed the ball and after a daring bit of running, they kicked it out to end the game. Cal led into the second half but found themselves outscored 19-7 in the last 40.

“Tip of the cap to the Gaels. We appreciate them and congratulate them,” Cal Head Coach Jack Clark said. “I am proud of our boys. We played a lot of good rugby. That said, we need to heal up and get back at it. Our best rugby is still ahead of us.”

This looks to guarantee Saint Mary's the #1 seed in the West.

Saint Mary's 38 
Tries: Besag 4, Pongi, Waqavesi
Convs: M. Storti 4

Cal 31
Tries: Kirsten 2, Weigold 2, Williams
Convs: O'Connell 3 

In a back-and-forth game in Provo BYU led Life 10-6 at halftime. And they held that lead until 13 minutes into the second half. Then a good kick-and-chase put Life in the BYU 22, and when they took a scrum under the posts the Running Eagles forwards were able to punch it over. That made it 13-10 and several minutes later, after another period of pressure, Darius Law burst in on an inside line and was over.

 Back came Life and a big box kick was fumbled by BYU and good hands from Life set up outside center Philani Simamane. Now it was 27-10 and Life held on 30-15. That result probably confirmed Life as the #1 seed in the East.

Navy beat Penn State 37-15 in lousy weather.

“We are very happy that the game went ahead in what were almost unplayable conditions. We have some good takeaways with a solid set piece and kicking game,” said Navy Director of Rugby Gavin Hickie. “As always, we have lots of work on. We are excited to commence our national championship journey in a few weeks.”

The Cal Poly Mustangs galloped past UCLA 51-32 in a game that is going to have a huge influence on the seedings.

"The guys did well," said Cal Polu Head Coach Chris O'Brien. "Cal Poly and UCLA, we're pretty close when you look at all of our scores with all the teams we’ve played. But in this game we're pretty much 100% healthy, and to be that healthy at this time of year is good."

Having center and captain Coby Baker back from injury helped a lot.

"Our defensive communication was good; our attacking shape was good," said O'Brien. "It was a full team effort today."

Next up for Cal Poly is a tour of Ireland.

Arizona beat Army in Tucson 23-17 to give themselves a rankings and seedings boost as well, while Lindenwood capped off their regular seasons with two big seconds halves, beating McKendree 44-12 and Adrian 39-22.