Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
The Cal Poly Mustangs are prepping for a big-time week in Las Vegas that includes three days of rugby, both 7’s and 15’s. As the final opportunity for Mustang Head Coach Nick Massman to put together his squad for the Division I Premier competition, he’s bringing a full crew of players. From his top side that will play in Division I all the way down to to a 3rd side.
“Our intent for the LVI tourney is to get some volume, test some new kids under pressure have a good team experience on a large stage. It is our last hit out before I finalize my CPL player pool,” said Massman.
In the CRC Division, Massman has compiled a team of twelve players from his Division I Premier pool with one thing on their mind. Winning and punching a ticket to Philadelphia for the Collegiate Rugby Championship.
The Mustangs will face stiff competition in pool play as they face one of the tournament favorites in Bowling Green as well as Texas Tech and Santa Barbara CC. The team has an excellent shot of moving onto the knockout stage and anything can happen once you get in a “one and done” situation.
“We also have a team in the sevens tourney… twelve from my CPL player pool including three freshman and a JC transfer. The rest of the team is made up of sophomore , junior and senior players,” added Massman.
In 15’s, Cal Poly’s eyes are focused on their matchup with BYU which should be a stern test. The big matchup takes place on Saturday February 12th and should serve as a great measuring stick for the Mustangs.
On Friday, Cal Poly’s 2nd side tackles Delaware’s 2nds and their 3rd side takes on the University of Arizona’s 3rd team.
The only game for the team on Saturday is the big game with BYU, but the squad turns around on Sunday and plays a mixed side match against Arizona State as well as a 3rd side match again with the Sun Devils.
Plenty of opportunities for Massman to evaluate his squad and narrow down his player pool as the Division I Premier season inches ever so closer. With twelve players tapped to play in the CRC 7’s Division, other players will be needed to step up into those roles in 15’s and make their mark.
One thing is for sure, Cal Poly is taking full advantage of the Las Vegas Invitational.