The Fresno State men’s rugby club hosted the Pacific Western Rugby (PWR) Conference Sevens Championship at the Kinesiology Field on Saturday. The Bulldogs finished second in the tournament, losing in the final game to Stanford University, 21-7.
The tournament consisted of eight teams from the PWR Conference, with each team facing three opponents in the first round. Once the first round was over, those teams with the best records played an elimination game.
Fresno State’s road to the final game was not easy as it first had to face University of California, Santa Barbara. The ‘Dogs defeated the Gauchos by a score of 27-5.
Next, the Bulldogs faced California State University, Sacramento in a somewhat one-sided match. Fresno State dominated the first half scoring, 19-0. In the second half, the Hornets tried to mount a comeback, scoring twice, but it wouldn’t be enough to defeat the Bulldogs, who won, 19-10.
In the last game of the first round for the Bulldogs, they faced University of Nevada, Reno in a very close game. The Wolf Pack scored first, but the Bulldogs came back right away with a score of their own, tying the game just before halftime.
For the second half, nothing really changed. Nevada again scored first but missed the kick, which would end up costing it the game. The Bulldogs managed to score just before time expired and made the 2-point kick that gave them the 14-12 lead they would need to win the game.
With both Stanford and Fresno State ending the first round undefeated, they faced each other in the tournament final.
The game began with Stanford dominating the first half entirely, shutting down the Bulldogs and not allowing a single score. A frustrated Fresno State team came out in the second half with more fight, finally scoring at the end of the half, but it wouldn’t be enough.
The final score was 21-7 in favor of Stanford, which moved on to see if it can place in the National Sevens Championship.
Fresno head coach Patrick Quan said that even though the sevens season is over, the 15 season will begin in the spring, and that this tournament was an indication of how they are getting better.
“We’re happy with how we played today. We are proud of our boys…we were one step away from going to the nationals, and we’re really happy with our progress,” Quan said. “We have very good players coming into the program, so the future of Fresno State rugby is looking good.”