Playing in just their third 15s match in program history, Trinity Western’s men’s rugby team lost 96-0 against Saint Mary’s College, who is currently ranked No. 4 in the D1A rankings, Saturday.

A veteran Gaels side, who has played in five of the last seven D1A national championship matches, put up 53 points in the first half before adding 43 points in the second half.

The Spartans men’s 15s side is now 1-2 overall since re-launching the program this past fall, including a win over UBC Okanagan (43-20) and a loss to the Surrey Beavers (31-13).

TWU will now prepare to travel to play University of Washington Jan. 18 at 1 p.m. at IMA Sports Field.

Caleb Gerth – TWU Captain
“Today we saw the standard and the bar that we need to get to. They’re a great team and they’ve played a lot of rugby together as individuals and as a team. Obviously the boys are down a bit after that, but mostly we’re excited to just get back home this week and get back to work. This is the level that we want to be at in a few years and so that’s why we want to play teams like this.

“I thought that with ball in hand, we were making ground and line breaks, but you just can’t play defence for that long. Overall though, this was a great experience and it show us where we need to be.”

Andrew Evans – TWU Head Coach 
“You can see why Saint Mary’s regularly contends for the national championship and is one of the best university programs in the United States. They are well-coached and the history of the program is amazing. There is a reason why the United States is getting better at international rugby and it’s programs like Saint Mary’s that are helping to lead that charge.
“From our perspective, we now have high-quality game tape that we can review. Our boys know the standard of college rugby that we need to rise to. We wanted to have this game now, rather than in a few years, because we need to know where we stand and put ourselves under pressure and make ourselves uncomfortable now, so we can be intentional about our training moving forward.

“Our boys had a bunch of points scored on us, but it’s really encouraging to see how positive they are. This team is a group of warriors. We knew we were going to be in tough, but our guys were ready to battle.

“I think we matched up in the physical battle, which is impressive because we’re a young team against a veteran group. I thought our scrum held up very well. We had a number of strong performances, with guys like Sam Wegert (Langley, B.C.) and Brian Carlson (Langley) really showing what they are capable of against a strong Gaels side.”

1. Ben Graci – Edmonton, Alta. | Nor’westers AA
2. Scott Bowers – New Westminster, B.C. | Riverside
3. Josh Halladay – White Rock, B.C.
4. Erik Niebuhr – Surrey, B.C. | Bayside Sharks
5. Mackenzie Nordli – Nanaimo, B.C. | Nanaimo
6. Daniel Clement – Edmonton, Alta. | Edmonton Clansmen
7. Nate Schroeder – West Kelowna, B.C. | Mount Boucherie Secondary
8. Caleb Gerth (C) – Langley, B.C. | Brookswood
9. Jacob Sousa – Langley, B.C. | R.E. Mountain Secondary
10. Ethan Kelt – Port Coquitlam, B.C. | United Rugby Club
11. Markus Rauch – Abbotsford, B.C. | Robert Bateman Secondary
12. Sam Wegert – Langley, B.C. | R.E. Mountain
13. Oliver Feagin – Harbor City, Calif. | Carson
14. Ethan Bernardin – Langley, B.C. | R.E. Mountain Secondary
15. Khyree Poole – El Cajon, Calif. | OMBAC Rugby

16. J.P. O’Gorman – St. Charles, Miss. | Francis Howell Central
17. Nick Halladay – White Rock, B.C.
18. Nate Lieuwen – Langley, B.C.
19. Brian Carlson – Langley, B.C. | D.W. Poppy
20. David Wegert – Langley, B.C. | R.E. Mountain
21. Ben Adkins – Nairobi Kenya | Rift Valley Academy
22. Tim Bamgbade – Surrey, B.C.