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Rugby Beats Canadians, Win Third Straight Cup
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  06/21/1999

March 28, 1999

BERKLEY, Calif. - Cal's rugby team beat the University of British Columbia 18-15 in Vancouver Saturday to win 'the Cup' for a third consecutive year.

The nail-biting victory means a split for the Bears on their Canadian roadtrip, as they bounced back from Thursday's defeat-the first of the season-to the University of Victoria.

Even head coach Jack Clark, who has coached some 328 games for Cal, couldn't disguise his excitement after the win: "Rugby is a mix of passion and precision, and what we lacked in precision we made up for in passion today. There was a lot of rugby played within that low score. It was a heck of a game."

It was a heck of a game in a heck of a rivalry. The home-and-away series has seen some royal battles in recent years; now add today's match to that list. The Thunderbirds struck quickly with a try in the second minute of the game, although wing Andy Tamayo put Cal on the board shortly after with a penalty. At the half, the Bears held the slimmest of leads, 8-7, after No. 8 Shaun Paga got clear of a scrum and stormed down the weakside late in the period.

Paga featured in the Bear's next try as well, kicking ahead for prop Justin Flagg to make the corner less than ten minutes after the break. Flanker Paul Virk then returned a kick 30m which, several phases later, saw fullback John Buchholz cross the line. With nearly a quarter to play after their two quick tries, the Bears were forced to withstand enormous UBC pressure. It came to a climax in the 70th minute with a Thunderbirds scrum at the Cal 5m. But hooker Jason Perry, filling in for the injured Kirk Khasigian, won against the feed again allowing Cal to hold on for the win.

1st Half 2nd Half Final Cal 8 10 18 British Columbia 7 8 15

Scoring First Half: 2nd minute, UBC try (5) & conversion (2); 5th min.Andy Tamayo, penalty kick (3); 35th min. Shaun Paga try. Second Half: 5th min., UBC pen. kick; 9th min., Justin Flagg try; 14th min., John Buchholz, try; 20th min., UBC try. Cal Record: 12-1-0

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