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Chico State Men’s rugby club falls to Long Beach, ending season

Chico State rugby battles in a scrum against Stanford. Photo Courtesy: David Vargas

The Chico State men’s rugby club’s season officially came to an end in Long Beach at the Spring Championship quarterfinal. The Wildcats lost to Long Beach State by a score of 36-28.

“I think we did a lot better than we did last year,” said junior Matthew Mulholland. “We built upon our successes from last year.”

Chico State finished 7-2 on the season and were winners of the Pacific Western Rugby Conference. The Wildcats were undefeated at home, finishing with a home record of 4-0.

The Wildcats only suffered one loss on the year in the PWRC and that was at the hands of the University of Nevada, Reno. The club lost by a score of 19-5 on that snowy day in Reno, but were able to get revenge at home when they beat UNR by a score of 30-23 for the PWRC title. The Wildcats finished with a road record of 5-2.

The Wildcats were only tested by UNR in the PWRC. The club won most of its games in blowout fashion. The club beat conference foes San Jose State 64-7, San Francisco State 65-8, Sacramento State 32-5 and Stanford 66-19.

In Long Beach, the club played Long Beach State and fell to them 36-28 but won its consolation game with Western Washington by a score of 29-25. The Wildcats rested about half of their starters in the second half of the game.

“The entire second half we rested about half our starters and had new players come in. They actually came in and beat Western Washington in the second half,” Mulholland said.

The Wildcats only lost three seniors from this year’s team and expect to contend for another PWRC title.

“I think the biggest success is that we are keeping the vast majority of this team. We’re only graduating three seniors who had a large impact on the team, but we also have a lot of depth this year,” Mulholland said.

The club will use the first few weeks of the off-season to recover from the season and begin training again over the summer. “We start playing 7’s which is like a lighter, faster version of 15’s rugby,” Mulholland said. “It has a little bit less tackling so you get that cardio-fitness going in, and as the semester starts to approach at the end of the summer, we start doing more weight training and a lot more agility training.”

For more information on the Chico State men’s rugby club visit the club’s Facebook page.

Noah Enns can be reached at [email protected] or @NoahEnns21 on Twitter.

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