Goff Rugby Twitter     Goff Rugby Facebook

Saint Mary's Over Central Washington

irish rugby tours

Saint Mary's Over Central Washington

Saint Mary's powers ahead. Photo Saint Mary's Rec Sports.

Saint Mary's opened up their season after more than a year away from competition, and beat a very strong Central Washington team 38-17 in Moraga, Saturday.

The Gaels ran out to a 26-0 lead, playing their characteristic wide open game. Wing Jonathan Hackett, wing Aiden Howe, fullback Erich Storti, and Howe again went over, with scrumhalf Karl Keane getting three conversions. 

"The guys were pumped to be playing," said Saint Mary's Head Coach Tim O'Brien. "Our guys are pretty professional and they were upbeat but relaxed, loose, just enjoying the moment. So I was pretty happy with the first half, nice intensity, not a lot of errors. it was good."

The second half saw the error rate increase and saw CWU ramp up their intensity. Central made several substitutions a few minutes into the second half and they made an impact. Central scored two minutes into the second half through fullback Jake Szumski, but Saint Mary's replied with a try from flyhalf Inoke Waqavesi (converted by Keane). Central and the Gaels traded tries after that, with Hackett getting his second for Saint Mary's and Killian Keane, Karl's younger older brother, converting. Central's imposing No. 8 Alex Mackenzie and scrumhalf Kawika Macy got over for the Wildcats, with flyhalf Jack Tregoning adding a conversion.

Prop Aiden Latter was a force for Central and the CWU front row caused what is a very good Saint Mary's front row some probllems.

O'Brien said the hot weather got to his team a little—they had some cramp issues and CWU probably struggled with that too. But he also said his team made a few decision-making errors that closed the gap in the second half.

Saint Mary's No. 8 Miles McCormick was a beast all day, while reigning Rudy Scholz Award-winner for 2020, prop Payton Telea Ilalio, took on the captain's mantle and and did very well as a player and leader. Storti at fullback put in a very impressive showing, demonstrating poise on defense and some good attacking instincts.

"It was just so great to get on the field," said O'Brien, who also had good things to say about referee Tim Lew. "Central Washington is a very powerful team and they have some impressive players. This was very good for us in terms of getting on the field and there were some good teachable moments for the players and for the coaches." 

Saint Mary's 38
Tries: Jackett 2, Howe 2, Storti, Waqavesi
Convs: Ka. Keane 3, Ki. Keane

CWU 17
Tries: Szumski, Mackenzie, Macy
Convs: Tregoning