BERKELEY – Playing on its home pitch for the first time in 10 months under sparkling sunny skies, California saw 14 different players score tries as the Golden Bears opened PAC Rugby Conference play on Witter Rugby Field with a big scoreline over Oregon State Saturday afternoon.
Flyhalf Russell Webb notched the first of Cal’s three hat tricks before halftime, followed by No. 8 Tiaan De Nysschen’s third try at minute 59 and center Patrick Barrientes’ third at minute 74. Fullback Jake Anderson connected on 7-of-11 conversion attempts and four other placekickers combined for an overall rate of 12-for 22 (Webb 1-for-1, Harry Adolphus 0-for-2, Nicklas Boyer 2-for 5, Jamie Howells 2-for 3).
“The intensity was there from the beginning,” said wing Josh Tucker, who helped set the tone and scored a try in the 22nd minute. “At times our skills let us down but the effort was there, and that’s a good takeaway at this early stage of the season.”
The scrum for the Bears (6-0, 1-0 PAC) joined that high effort level, scoring seven tries as the unit strived to work together with two sophomores, prop George Vrame and lock James Kondrat, in the mix and veteran Tanner Mohr working at the hooker position.
Oregon State (0-2, 0-1 PAC) was unable to ask many questions of the Cal defense, finding itself on the back foot for most of the match, but the Bears left the field less than fully satisfied with their play .
“We could have done a little bit better in the scrum and the lineout,” said Kondrat. “Those set pieces went OK but we need to set the bar a little higher for ourselves with UBC coming into town next.”
Senior Seamus Kelly, in an unprecedented third year as Cal’s captain, agreed that Saturday’s performance was a well-intentioned effort that still needs a quantum leap of improvement to be ready for the Thunderbirds on Feb. 15. The center with seven U.S. international appearances already under his belt also credited the crowd for its midseason form.
“A tremendous atmosphere and a great fan base – it’s always special to be back,” Kelly said of Witter Rigby Field. “Guys got up for the challenge pretty well and took a step forward from UCLA but there’s still a lot of work to be done if we’re going to be ready for the start of the ‘World Cup.’”
The Cal reserves also defeated the Beavers on Saturday by a similar scoreline.
The Bears next travel to Stanford to compete with the Cardinal for the Scrum Axe at Steuber Rugby Stadium Thursday, Feb. 13, at 6 p.m., before welcoming the University of British Columbia to Strawberry Canyon on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 1 p.m., when the Thunderbirds will test Cal with potentially their strongest team in the last 10 years in the opening match of the “World Cup” series.
One week later, on Saturday, Feb. 22, Pac-12 Networks will broadcast the Bears against the Bruins in a live television broadcast from Witter Rugby Field as the PAC Rugby Conference and regular season schedule continues. On Saturday, UCLA shut out Arizona State, 42-0, to put the Bruins tied at the top of the conference standings with Cal.
The Scoring Timeline vs. Oregon State
04:00 Nicklas Boyer 5
12:00 Tiaan De Nysschen 5
19:00 Russell Webb 5
31:00 Russell Webb 5
Halftime Score: California 76, Oregon State 0
45:00 Harry Adolphus 5
46:00 Patrick Barrientes 5
51:00 Jesse Milne 5
56:00 Max Shaulis 5
59:00 Tiaan De Nysschen 5
69:00 Nicklas Boyer, 5, 2
74:00 Patrick Barrientes 5, Jaime Howells 2
76:00 Anthony Salaber 5
Final Score: California 134, Oregon State 0
The Team vs. Oregon State
15. Anderson (A. Salaber @ 31:00), 14. Battaglia, 13. Kelly (c) (Barrientes @ 31:00), 12. Harrington, 11. Tucker, 10. Webb (Adolphus @ 40:00, Boyer @ 51:00, Howells @ 70:00), 9. Boyer (Bosco @ 40:00, Boyer @ 70:00), 1. Walsh, 2. Mohr (Bush @ 57:00), 3.Vrame, 4. Kondrat, 5. Coleman, 6. O’Beirne, 7. Bruzzone (Tandy @ 31:00), 8. De Nysschen
Spring 2014 PAC Rugby Conference
Date Matchup/Result Location Jan. 24 Utah 17, Arizona 7 Las Vegas, NV Feb. 1 California 134, Oregon State 0 Berkeley, CA UCLA 42, Arizona State 0 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 California 1-0-0 5 UCLA 1-0-0 5 Utah 1-0-0 4 Arizona 0-1-0 0 Arizona State 0-1-0 0 Oregon State 0-1-0 0