BERKELEY – The Golden Bears host Oregon State on Witter Rugby Field Saturday, Feb. 1, at 1 p.m. in California’s home opener and the first match in PAC Rugby Conference play for both teams, with a reserve-grade contest following the Starting XV.
The Bears enter the weekend at 5-0, having notched four of their wins in tournament matches at the Dennis Storer Classic followed by a frosh-soph win against Cal Maritime’s varsity, giving the Blue and Gold a season points for-against total of 318-13 (63.6 ppg scored and 2.6 ppg allowed).
The Beavers are 0-1 at this nascent stage of the spring, having traveled to Eugene for a battle with rival Oregon that ended 34-19 in the Ducks’ favor January 18. Head coach Anthony Lally is looking to transition his team from a successful fall 7s season, which included a third-place finish at the PAC 7s and the international debut of Oregon State player Pono Haitsuka on the U.S. National 7s team. Oregon State’s roster features senior fullback Colter Rodman leading the backs and junior Lock Kody O'Neil headlining the forwards.
Cal continues to work at jelling in the forwards, where it is less-proven than in its backline, and will have to do so on Saturday without hooker Michael Bush, a junior who is out this weekend following his promising start in a new position. Veterans Tanner Mohr or Jack O’Beirne could get the call in the No. 2 jersey in Bush’s absence. Overall, the Bears will look to change as many as a half-dozen starters from the varsity’s last match at UCLA.
“As the saying goes, we are a work in progress,” said Bears head coach Jack Clark. “We are attempting to balance installing new tactics to our options, while also improving our execution. It is easier said than done. We expect to reduce our error count each week and I think we will. I would also like to see us have increased intent, a collective clarity on what we are attempting and why it is important. Situationally, when we play with a real sense of purpose we are much more effective.”
Following their conference opener on Saturday, both Cal and Oregon State face Stanford in their next match, with Oregon State traveling to The Farm Sunday for an 11 a.m. meeting and Cal competing against the Cardinal for the Scrum Axe at Steuber Rugby Stadium Thursday, Feb. 13, at 6 p.m.
Spring 2014 PAC Rugby Conference
Date Matchup/Result Location Jan. 24 Utah 17, Arizona 7 Las Vegas, NV Feb. 1 Oregon State at California Berkeley, CA Arizona State at UCLA Los Angeles, CA Feb. 8 Arizona State at Utah St. George, UT Feb. 22 UCLA at California Berkeley, CA (TV: Pac-12 Networks) Utah at Oregon State Corvallis, OR Feb. 28 California at Arizona State Tempe, AZ March 1 Oregon State at UCLA Los Angeles, CA March 2 California at Arizona Tucson, AZ March 8 UCLA at Utah St. George, UT Arizona State at Oregon State Corvallis, OR March 15 Arizona at UCLA Los Angeles, CA California at Utah St. George, UT March 29 Arizona State at Arizona Tucson, AZ April 12 Arizona at Oregon State Corvallis, OR Points System: Win = 4 pts, Tie = 2 pts, Loss = 0 pts Score 4+ Tries = 1 pt, Lose by 7 or less = 1 pt Standings Team W-L-T Points Utah 1-0-0 4 Arizona State 0-0-0 0 California 0-0-0 0 Oregon State 0-0-0 0 UCLA 0-0-0 0 Arizona 0-1-0 0