Wins keep coming for St. Mary’s, as they followed up their defeat of University of Utah Friday evening with a 36-22 defeat of Chico State on Saturday.
They’re not done yet as the Gaels will field a mostly freshman team against University of San Francisco on Sunday.
“I still feel our team is in its infancy,” said Head Coach Tim O’Brien, and maybe he feels that way because his team suffered long-term injuries to some key players, such as Bubba Jones, Chad Clark, Garrett Brewer, and Lloyd Evans. “We didn’t fret too much about the end result [on Friday]. Both teams had their targets and one team may have exceeded them and one team may not have. But it was a great day for rugby.”
St. Mary’s has trotted out a slightly more organized, or structured, game plan, and O’Brien was pleased to test that, along with his program’s significant depth, this weekend.
“We want to play the best schedule we can, and we are just so appreciative that Utah made the effort to come out here,” O'Brien said. “We’ve been playing an interesting potpourri of programs and clubs in this buildup. We play clubs in part to let kids know they can play rugby after college. We’re going to play Olympic Club and Cal and BYU as well because we want to play against quality programs.”
This Saturday it was the always tenacious Chico State. O’Brien made ten changes from Friday, and expected some of his younger players to struggle.
“We had many new combinations and some tired and sore bodies, so we played as expected,” he said. “Chico was up to the task and really dominated territory for long periods. If they stay healthy I think they’ll have a great season.”
Kingsley McGowan, who O’Brien moved from center to fullback this season, was outstanding both in attack and as the last line of defense.
After A and B games on Friday and Saturday, winning them all, St. Mary’s looks to make it five wins in three days against USF on Sunday.