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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggies trounced by Mustangs in home finale

Ryan+MCauley+avoids+a+tackle+Feb.+4+against+Texas+Tech+University+at+Urbanovsky+Field.%26%23160%3B
Photo by Photo provided by TAMU Men’s Club Rugby.

Ryan MCauley avoids a tackle Feb. 4 against Texas Tech University at Urbanovsky Field. 

The last home game for Texas A&M University men’s club rugby under the helm of head coach James Lowrey came to a bittersweet ending.
On Tuesday, March 28, A&M Maroon Side was defeated 13-34 by California Polytechnic State University in its final home game of the season. With the loss, the Aggies are 6-1 on the season with playoffs in sight. Before more tough competition comes their way, the Aggies got a taste of future opponents against the Mustangs.
The Aggies fell behind 22-0 early as the Mustangs’ tough defense and aggressive offense proved to be too much. Before the end of the first half, the maroon and white finally scored but still trailed 29-8 at the end of the half.
Defensively, Cal Poly stood firm through the second half as its offense slowed down. Each team scored once in the second half as the Mustangs never let the Aggies get back within striking distance.
Lowrey said the game showed his team belongs on the field with high-caliber opponents such as Cal Poly, but they just need more experience at that level of competition.
“I’m willing to bet if we replay them next week it’d be a different result; it will be a lot closer at least,” Lowrey said. “I’m very happy to discover that the boys have a lot of heart and fight in them, and that they’re barely touched.”
Cal Poly’s “rugby IQ” and fitness were advantages over the Maroon Side, Lowrey noted.
“You can tell they just play a lot more high-quality opponents,” Lowrey said. “They had a lot of answers for our defense; was nothing we can’t handle with a bit more time. It’s just a very short time.”
Despite having little history with Cal Poly, this game was one of the biggest the Aggies have played all year, said Cody McLerran, center and sports management sophomore.
“For the result, it’s not what we wanted, but the effort and the teamwork was there,” McLerran said. “Our defense was spot on, I would say. There’s a few broken tackles that you can’t always help.”
Environmental design sophomore and scrum Rodrigo Munozledo played the game with “Lowrey” written on tape on his wrist in honor of his coach.
“He’s one of the greatest people I think that I’ve ever had to play under,” Munozledo said. “He just means that much to me and what he’s done for the boys, and what he’s done for this club is absolutely incredible.
“I mean, because of him the team survived COVID, and I hate to see him go, but we’re going to make sure to send him out in a good way in the playoffs,” Munozledo said. “We’ll make sure of it.”
As Lowrey finishes out the rest of his final season with the A&M club, he said he still wants his team to know how good they are and how good they can be in the future.
“I keep harping on it being a young group, however these kids don’t know how good they are, and they will be very good,” Lowrey said. “I look forward to reaping the rewards next week and the next year or so.”
The Aggies will travel to Marietta, Georgia, April 8 to face Life University in the USA Rugby D1A playoffs.
Cade Harris is a journalism senior and contributed this article from the course JOUR 359, Reporting Sports, to The Battalion.

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