April 29, 1997
Cal (14-3) Faces Final Four Fight
Sat. May 3 & Sun. May 4
National Collegiate Championships Witter Rugby Field, 11:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.
BEARS TAKE REGIONAL CROWN:
The Bears beat Indiana and Air Force to win the Western regional tournament two weeks ago. Cal defeated Indiana 65-12 in the first round and outscored Air Force 46-6 in the second. The Bears were pleased to further their bid for a seventh consecutive national championship, and also happy to survive the weekend without serious injury. However, the squad was not pleased with the quality of its performance. "We've left ourselves plenty to work on," said Cal coach Jack Clark. "It was a comprehensive tournament victory but we've got our best rugby game still inside us and its got to be our passion to get that out."
TOUGH FINAL FOUR:
The Bears will want to find their best game for the Final Four tournament which they host this weekend. The defending national champions will face a strong challenge from UC Davis in the first round while Stanford and Penn State will square off in the other semi-final. "The weekend will offer no margin for error," Jack Clark said. "We will need to play our best rugby of the season on both days to be successful." He noted that good play from the scrum half-fly half combination of Kevin Dalzell and Dave Stroble will be key for victory since they control the offense. Clark also hopes for another strong performance from fullback Katsu Takei whose tactical kicking game has been an integral part of Cal's season long success.
Stanford snapped a 98 game winning streak for Cal in 1996, taking the Scrum Axe to the Farm. Cal claimed it back in the two teams' only meeting of 1997-a hard-fought 41-24 win. Davis, meanwhile, pushed Cal even harder when they met in early February, the Bears escaping with a 32-20 win. Stanford beat Davis in their only match of the current season.
The Stanford-Penn State match will begin at 11:00 a.m. Saturday followed by the Cal-Davis game at 1:00 p.m. On Sunday, the consolation match will be played at 11:00 a.m. with the title match at 1:00 p.m.
With three local teams involved, a large crowd is expected at Witter Rugby Field. Tickets for the Final Four tournament are available by calling 510-64-BEARS. Prices are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. A two-day package is $18 for adults and $14 for students and seniors.
HEAD COACH JACK CLARK:
Now in his 14th season as Cal's head coach, Jack Clark has a 249-53-4 record, leading the Bears to ten national titles and seeking a seventh consecutive championship in 1997. Clark is a former standout football player at Cal who went on to play rugby for the national team and was a world XV team selection in 1980. He also serves as head coach for the USA National Team, the Eagles.