By: K.J. Wylie/GCU Staff
After securing the win in a highly anticipated rematch against UC Davis Thursday, the Grand Canyon University Men’s Rugby team kept their win streak alive by defeating the University of Santa Clara Saturday, 83-13. The match featured a season-best in points scored by GCU, while allowing the second-lowest point total to a Lopes’ opponent this year as well.
Ten different players found paydirt for GCU, and it was the Lopes’ junior wing Ronnie Salle and sophomore hooker Suwaiter Poch who led the way with a team-high two tries apiece.
Although the program is arguably in the midst of their best run in team history, Lopes’ Head Coach Cam Wyper placed perspective on the win and where the team stands.
“We haven’t won anything yet,” said Wyper. “Santa Clara probably has one of the best coaches in the nation, Paul Keeler and to win on the road is big for the boys. But there’s still a long way to go if we want to get a spot in the playoffs.”
The Lopes, who are currently ranked No. 14 in the nation, have one final regular season game against a dangerous California Polytechnic State University team, and know what they’re capable of.
“We’re ready for the grind,” remarked Wyper about the upcoming challenge. “Cal Poly barely lost to the number one team, so it won’t be easy, but the guys are pumped to try and get it done.”
A Monday win over CPU could loom large for the Lopes’ upcoming success, since if the playoffs were to begin today, GCU would be the sixteenth seed playing against that same No. 1 team, St. Mary’s.
How does GCU plan to win?
While defense was the staple of success for the Lopes early in the season, the offense has truly come alive over the course of the current win streak with a 54.76 points-per-game average.
“It all starts with our structures and systems,” said Wyper. “We always want to have a strong defensive outing, but if we can get into our structures, we can be one of the top teams in the nation.”
The Grand Canyon-Cal Poly match will be played at GCU Stadium on March 26. As the Lopes currently hold on to the final playoff spot, this game will hold great impact on whether the team moves up to a higher seed, or falls out of the playoffs entirely. Kickoff for the match is 5 pm and admission is FREE!