Mar. 9, 1997
Rugby Defeats Stanford
PALO ALTO, Calif. - Cal's rugby squad wrenched the Scrum Axe back from Stanford Sunday, fighting off a second half Cardinal rally to win 41-24 at the Farm.
Cal started strong with three tries in the first 20 minutes of the match, and swapped tries with Stanford in the remainder of the half to lead by 19 points at the break. But it was Stanford's turn for a strong start in the second period.
The Cardinal scored two converted tries to narrow the Golden Bears' lead to only five. However, Cal captain and fly half Kevin Dalzell said the team was confident they could win even during the Cardinal comeback: "We came out flat in the second half and just hung on for the first 20 minutes. We had some bad field position and we were stuck."
It was almost deja vu all over again for the Bears who saw another 19 point lead evaporate in a loss to the University of British Columbia earlier in the season. Dalzell, who kicked three conversions on the day, said that game was on the Bears' minds at the half: "We vowed to ourselves that it wouldn't happen again."
Unlike the loss to B.C., Cal was able to regroup with another three tries in the last 20 minutes of the match. "We had to return to basics when they got their little runs," said Cal No. 8 Scott Yungling who played despite a chipped clavicle. "They dictated play a little bit," added flanker John Taylor, "but once we found our pattern, we dominated."
Cal certainly dominated from set plays throughout the match, pushing Stanford's scrums backwards and disrupting the Cardinal's line-outs. Hooker Kirk Khasigian and flanker Simon Terry-Lloyd were rewarded with tries among the forwards. In the backs, fly half Dave Stroble scored the first and last tries of the match, wingers Doug Anthrop and Todd Conneely had one each and fullback Nic Sliffe, who replaced the injured Katsu Takei, also scored.
Cal coach Jack Clark was happy to bring the Scrum Axe back to Berkeley and told his team: "Stanford are never getting it again." He also paid tribute to the play of Cal's second team which won by more than 40 points.
The Bears face another tough match next Sunday when they host the University of Arizona. The 1.00pm game replaces the scheduled California Invitational tournament which was cancelled due to scheduling conflicts for other teams slated to play. As a result, there will be no rugby Saturday and no early game on Sunday.
Last month in Tucson, the Bears had a hard fought victory over Uof A, currently the best team in the southern division. The two teams are likely to meet again during play-offs and Coach Clark hopes to gain a psychological edge with another victory next week.
Cal 24 17 = 41 vs. Stanford 5 19 = 24 Scoring: First Half -D. Stroble Try (5) K. Dalzell Conversion (2) 5:45; K. Khasigian Try (5) 9:46; N. Sliffe Try (5) 14:34; Stanford Try (5) 22:51; T. Conneely Try (5) ) K. Dalzell Conversion (2) 33:18. Second Half -Stanford Try (5) & Conversion (2) 6:40; Stanford Try (5) & Conversion (2) 14:38; D. Anthrop Try (5) 24:22; S. Terry-Lloyd Try (5) K. Dalzell Conversion (2) 35:42; Stanford Try (5) 37:57; D. Stroble Try (5) Injury Time. Cal Record: 8-2