MESA, Ariz. – The No. 2 Golden Bears stayed unbeaten both overall and within the PAC Rugby Conference with their 76-18 victory at No. 11 Arizona State Friday night.
By winning the match and scoring 12 tries, California (11-0, 3-0 PAC) moved into a tie with No. 17 Utah (4-0, 3-0 PAC) atop the conference standings.
For ASU, Ryan Spiwak and Eric Rygiel scored tries, the latter converted by Keenan Mayfield, who also made both his penalty kicks for the Sun Devils.
The Bears had the run of play for most of the match and held a 34-point lead at the break on six tries by six different players. In the second half, Cal maintained control despite choppy play wrought by ongoing handling errors and inconsistent effort levels.
The Rugby Bears exited the evening frustrated with their performance and eager to make a stronger statement Sunday against Arizona.
"It was good to come out and be physical, but we also want to be smarter rugby players," said lock James Kondrat of Cal's quest to play mistake-free rugby.
"We showed glimpses of what we're capable of as athletes and as a team, but on the whole we know we can be better," added captain Seamus Kelly. "It will be a test in the turnaround for Sunday to apply all the lessons we can from tonight."
The Sun Devils fell to 2-4 overall and 0-3 in conference play but have shown improvement this season, having beaten Cal Poly, 24-5, and shown moxie in their 46-23 loss to the Utes and 56-19 defeat at the hands of now-No. 1 Saint Mary's.
In the reserve-grade match following the First XV, Cal defeated ASU by the score of 88-5.
Saturday is a travel day for the Bears before Cal takes on the No. 17 Wildcats at 12 p.m. MT, on Sunday, March 2, in Tucson.
Arizona (1-2, 0-1 PAC) will be playing their second conference match of the spring, having lost to Utah, 17-7, on Jan. 24. Led by first-year head coach Sean Duffy following the passing of legendary coach David Sitton, Arizona beat then-No. 16 Air Force, 25-19, at home on Feb. 14 and have also taken on Saint Mary’s (a 76-10 loss) so far in their schedule
Sunday’s noontime match against the ’Cats at the Rincon Vista Sports Complex (venue map: http://goo.gl/maps/EMkij) is forecasted for a high of 66 degrees with 20-mph winds and a 50 percent chance of rain.
One other PAC match takes place over the weekend takes in Los Angeles, where No. 8 UCLA, currently third in the conference, hosts Oregon State on Saturday.
The Scoring Timeline vs. Arizona State
24:00 ASU (Keenan Mayfield) 3
36:00 Harry Adolphus 5, 2
39:00 ASU (Ryan Spiwak) 5
Halftime: California 42, Arizona State 8
42:00 ASU (Eric Rygiel) 5, (Keenan Mayfield) 2
47:00 Alec Gletzer 5
52:00 Seamus Kelly 5
56:00 Jack O'Beirne 5
65:00 ASU (Keenan Mayfield) 3
70:00 Michael Bush 5
Final Score: California 76, Arizona State 18
The Team vs. Arizona State
15. A. Salaber (Adolphus @ 55:00), 14. Battaglia, 13. Kelly (c) (Barrientes @ 71:00), 12. Harrington (Milne @ 55:00), 11. Tucker, 10. Adolphus (Harrington @ 55:00) 9. Boyer (Bosco @ 62:00), 1. Mohr (Walsh @ 65:00), 2. Bush, 3. Vrame (C. Fry @ 55:00), 4. Kondrat, 5. Bowman (Zerbino @ 71:00), 6. O'Beirne (Hendrickson @ 57:00), 7. Gletzer, 8. De Nysschen