May 31, 2013
Cal Schedule: Sat. June 1 vs. Kutztown 2:12 p.m. ET/11:12 a.m. PT, vs. Temple 5:48 p.m. ET/2:48 p.m. PT (airing Sat. eve); Sun. June 2 TBD | TV: Sat. NBC live 12-1:30 p.m. PT, Comcast Sportsnet California taped 4:30-6:30 p.m. PT (CSNCA channel finder), NBC Sports Network taped 8-9:30 p.m. PT (NBCSN channel finder); Sun. NBC Sports Network live 11 a.m.-1 p.m. PT and NBC live 1-3 p.m. PT (listings guide) | Directions to PPL Park | CRC Homepage | Register as a Fan, Player or Parent | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube
PHILADELPHIA - With seven tries scored by six Golden Bears, including two by Josh Tucker, California kicked off its 2013 Collegiate Rugby Championship campaign with a 45-7 victory over Virginia Tech Friday evening at PPL Park.
"We're off to a solid start and that's always important in 7s tournaments," said captain Seamus Kelly, who contributed a try in the seventh minute against the Hokies. "There's no coasting in 7s and in this tournament setup we can't afford to let up at any point."
To qualify for a chance to win the five-pool, 20-team event, Cal must either win its pool outright or finish among the top-three second-place teams based on head-to-head results, points differential, total tries and converted tries, in that order. The 12 teams who do not qualify for the championship bracket will compete in consolation rounds.
Against Virginia Tech, Cal won the coin toss, kicked off and applied defensive pressure right away. Once the Bears gained possession, 7s All-American Brad Harrington offloaded a backhand pass at the 40-meter line to fellow 7s All-American Jake Anderson, who began the scoring with Cal's first try.
Freshman Harry Adolphus kicked the first conversion, added another to go 2-for-2 after he scored the Bears' second try two minutes later, then drew a Virginia Tech defender to set up Tucker on the next try, but the first-year player had to exit the contest with an injury following that last sequence, yielding placekicking duties to Anderson, who finished 3-for-5 on conversions.
Coming out of halftime with a 26-0 lead, the Bears stayed after it, starting with a nice take of the kickoff by Harrington, who made a solid return to the pitch after eight months on the shelf recovering from injury. That sequence ended with a try by sophomore Andrew Battaglia, who had come on for Adolphus, and Cal made three more substitutions. The Bears leaked a try to Virginia Tech's Paul Caron, which he converted in the 13th minute, but a late try by Andre Coquillard following a charge downfield by Ahmed Chehade ensured that the Bears would exit the evening with the most points scored in their pool.
The Bears enter Saturday's resumption of pool play atop Pool C at 1-0 with a +38 points differential, followed by second-place Kutztown, which defeated Temple, 33-5, on Friday. Cal faces Kutztown at 2:12 p.m. ET/11:12 a.m. PT in a head-to-head showdown Saturday before playing Temple at 5:48 p.m. ET to end pool play, with that final match against the Owls airing during the NBC Sports Network telecast, which runs from 8-9:30 p.m. PT (channel finder).
Action at the CRC is scheduled to culminate Sunday with the championship final at 2:29 p.m. PT on NBC. Earlier Saturday action at the CRC airs live on NBC (12-1:30 p.m. PT) and taped on Comcast Sportsnet California (4:30-6:30 p.m. PT, channel finder); to confirm those listings and Sunday coverage (11 a.m.-1 p.m. PT live on NBC Sports Network and 1-3 p.m. PT live on NBC), visit SFGate.com's Sports on TV listings.
The winner of the CRC receives the Pete Dawkins Trophy, named for the three-time Oxford Blue and Rhodes Scholar who also won the Heisman Trophy as a gridiron halfback for Army at West Point before a decorated military career that ended with his rank of Brigadier General.
The Scoring Timeline vs. Virginia Tech:
02:00 Jake Anderson 5, Harry Adolphus 2
04:00 Harry Adolphus 5, 2
05:00 Josh Tucker 5
07:00 Seamus Kelly 5, Jake Anderson 2
Halftime Score: California 26, Virginia Tech 0
08:00 Andrew Battaglia 5
11:00 Josh Tucker 5, Jake Anderson 2
13:00 Virginia Tech (Paul Caron) 5, 2
14:00 Jake Anderson 2
Final Score: California 45, Virginia Tech 7
The Team vs. Virginia Tech:
1. Barrett, 2. Harrington, 3. Kelly (c), 4. Boyer, 5. Anderson, 6. Adolphus, 7. Tucker
Replacements: Battaglia, Chehade, Coquillard, A. Salaber