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Written by Kelsey Price    Friday, 20 January 2012 14:57    PDF Print Write e-mail
Cal Poly Takes on Utah
Colleges - Men's DI College

Preseason DI-A non-conference action continues this weekend as the University of Utah and Cal Poly meet in Mesquite, Nev. The Mustangs head into Saturday’s game with back-to-back wins over local men’s club San Luis Obispo (79-7) and rival UC-Santa Barbara (31-17) last weekend. Meanwhile, the Utes are coming off a bye weekend and a 51-0 shutout over UCSB on January 7. 

Utah looks to break Cal Poly's pre-season winning streak this Saturday. (Dobson Images)

Both teams earned big wins over UCSB this month, so Saturday’s match will lend some early-season insight into the teams’ relative strength. These pre-season games are integral to building stamina for the long season ahead, which will culminate in conference matches against DI-A finalists California and BYU.

“It’s early in the season so any improvements we see in any phase of the game will be a plus,” said Utah assistant head coach Rob Kingsford.

Cal Poly has a knack for getting out early and staying there, as seen in the team’s 79-7 rout over SLO. The Mustangs have an able, mobile back row, which provide much of Cal Poly’s go-forward ball. Captain and No. 8 Dave Schaefer as well as freshman flanker Matt Ryan have devastated defenses early in the season.

Saturday’s game will likely be determined by Utah’s ability to hold Cal Poly, a team known for their immediate energy, on defense early in the game. The Mustangs have already proven their quickness to respond on the field this season, running away with a 79-7 preseason opener over club team San Luis Obispo.

The Utes’ primary focus is to contain and respond to Cal Poly’s first-half attack, although it’ll be a difficult task for a squad that has struggled to find consistency on defense in the early minutes. They’ve lost key leaders like All American Camden Burd to graduation last year, and are still looking to prove themselves.

“Cal Poly has always had a solid program and if we don’t match their physically early, we could be in for a long afternoon,” said senior lock Scott Metcalf.

The Utes will look to seniors Danny James and Scott Metcalf to launch the physical assault, while loose forwards Alex Muehle, who had three tries over UCSB, and 2010 All American Mike Shepherd, back from injury, will take on the Cal Poly forwards.

Saturday’s game will the first time these two teams have faced each other since 2009 in San Diego. Utah won that contest 26-12.

The action gets started at 12:30 p.m. MST. Stay tuned for match details and player/coach feedback.


 
Written by Press Release    Friday, 20 January 2012 14:39    PDF Print Write e-mail
Tournament for a Cause Seeking Sponsors
Tournaments - Tournaments



The Derek Thomas Invitational, held Feb. 11 & 12 at Cathedral High School in San Diego, Calif., is seeking sponsors.

This tournament offers the community a chance to come out and support the Thomas family as they continue their journey down the long road to rehabilitation and coping with the financial & emotional strains from devastating burn injuries Derek suffered over a year ago.

Derek was traveling home from Mammoth, CA along with four other passengers; his girlfriend, two other fellow athletes and their coach. Their SUV lost control, flipped onto its side, and was struck by an oncoming van. Derek was pulled out with burns over 85% of his body and was given a 1% chance of survival. After one year in the hospital and 43 surgeries, he has returned home.

For more information on the tournament, contact Ramon Samaniego at 760.500.1060 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
Written by Charles Ouko    Friday, 20 January 2012 13:51    PDF Print Write e-mail
Vegas is Home Turf for Kenya
Tournaments - USA Sevens Tournament

Undoubtedly the largest fan base that turns out to cheer on Kenya during the nine-leg global HSBC 7s series are the fans that show up in Las Vegas, and it's not lost on the players and coaching staff

"Very encouraging,positive impact, creates a home based atmosphere and we look forward to seeing them again in February," Sydney Ashioya told RUGBYMag.com

Flyer Collins Injera said, "There is something special about Las Vegas, and this atmosphere is considerably heightened when you add the thunderous and whole hearted-cheering of the Kenyan fan base during our play. Undoubtedly an extra wind in our sails"

Returning fly half Lavine Asego, who makes his fifth-consecutive trip to the US, was effusive in his description of the role of the fans. "Its massive. It motivates us, and when we consider that thousands have traveled from out of state at considerable expense, we can't help but lift our game for them," he said.

Kenya has twice come just one game short of making the Cup final in USA, losing both times to to New Zealand in the Cup semis.

"When we hear our names chanted by the thousands in the terraces, plus see the sea of faces painted in the Kenyan colors and hear them sing the national anthem, you almost wish the show never ends," continued Asego.

For many fans living in different parts of the US, the first weekend of February is penciled in months in advance as the weekend when they will all travel and party in Las Vegas.

Many are Kenyans, while others have been drafted in, as Kenya remains the core African side, apart from the Springboks, to consistently get invited to the US leg of the HSBC 7s World series.

Loose forward Victor Oduor confirms this, when he says, "Las Vegas is the only venue in the series where we feel completely at home, both on and off the pitch. The large crowd gives us an extra strength, not to say anything of the million parties that we are expected to attend during that extraordinary weekend. My highlight of the season."

"Even though this will be my first outing to the US in charge of the team a cursory look at our record in the US,is very positive," said coach Mitch Ocholla. "The players tell me the fans there are simply fabulous, and I have absolutely no reason to doubt them."

"We underperformed in the opening three legs, but do let our fans in both Wellington and the US know that the show will be well and truly back on course when we land," Ocholla added.

 
Written by RUGBYMag Staff    Friday, 20 January 2012 14:15    PDF Print Write e-mail
Renowned Defensive Coach Helping 7s Eagles
RUGBYmag Premier - Exclusive News

USA 7s coach Al Caravelli has not been shy about importing some help to the Olympic Training Center in preparation for the Wellington and Las Vegas stretch of the IRB 7s World Series.


 
Written by Press Release    Friday, 20 January 2012 13:44    PDF Print Write e-mail
IRB CEO to Step Down
International - International News

IRB CEO and Rugby World Cup Limited Managing Director Mike Miller is to step down from his roles at the end of January. In his 10 years at the helm at the IRB and Rugby World Cup Limited, Mike has overseen three hugely successful Rugby World Cups, the re-inclusion of Rugby into the Olympic Games, the expansion and growth of the HSBC Sevens World Series and the creation of the IRB’s Strategic Investment Programme and Union Fund which have seen an exponential increase in funding to Tier 1 and Tier 2 Unions and emerging major market countries.

Following discussions with recently re-elected Chairman Bernard Lapasset it was agreed that the beginning of a new four-year cycle following the acclaimed Rugby World Cup in New Zealand was a good time to end their successful partnership which has seen the IRB grow in stature and capability.

“It’s been a fantastic 10 years,” said Miller. “It was an honour and a privilege to have been welcomed into the Rugby family and to have worked with so many dedicated and talented Rugby people around the world. I have been lucky to have had three excellent chairmen in Vernon Pugh, Syd Millar and Bernard Lapasset and a brilliant staff at the IRB. We have achieved a lot in the last decade. Rugby is in a great place as it looks forward to Rugby World Cups in England and Japan, Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow, Women’s Rugby World Cup in France and the Olympics in Rio in 2016.”

“The Game has grown around the world and with its major events going to Asia and Eastern Europe for the first time the platform has been established for Rugby to become a truly global sport. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to Rugby’s growth and success over the last 10 years and in particular Bernard for his support and vision and Bill Beaumont for his advice and guidance as Vice Chairman over the past four years.”

Lapasset said: “Mike has achieved much during his 10 years at the IRB which is a much stronger organisation than when he joined in 2002. The Game is in great shape and the IRB is ready to take on the challenges of continuing to grow Rugby around the world and in particular to ensure that the Tier 1 countries are strong and secure, the Tier 2 countries continue to improve and grow, and the emerging major market countries become competitive as soon as possible. All of this will be achieved through our strong working relationship with the IRB Regions who are the first point of support and contact for our Unions.”

“Mike will be a hard act to follow. But with my newly re-affirmed four-year mandate, a revamped IRB Executive Committee, a soon to be refreshed Rugby World Cup Board and a vibrant Council and staff we have the tools in place to continue to drive the Game forward.”

 


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