Feb. 23, 2013
LOS ANGELES - The Golden Bears improved to 2-0 in PAC Rugby Conference play Saturday with their 75-22 win over UCLA on the North Athletic Field, outscoring the Bruins 49-0 in a 46-minute span that stretched from late in the first half to almost the end of the contest.
Nine different players scored for California, with second-half replacements Josh Tucker and Russell Webb notching two tries apiece and fullback Jake Anderson amassing 25 points on a try and 10 conversions (10-for-11).
The Bears got the job done with a mixed lineup that contained seven full changes - with starts for sophomores Michael Bush at No. 8 and Nicklas Boyer, Eakalafi Okusi and Andrew Battaglia in the backline - from the team that began the match vs. British Columbia last weekend.
Bruins inside center Race Noeldner intercepted a pass by Andre Coquillard in the second minute and raced 55 meters for a try that was converted by Ben Francis (1-of-4). Boyer poached the ball coming out of a Bruins' scrum three minutes later, leading to Cal's first try by Anderson, whose only missed conversion came on the ensuing attempt from the left touchline into a cool breeze.
"We stuck to it," said Boyer, who suited up in the No. 9 jersey across from his former Jesuit High School teammate Grant Penney. "We had our hands full in the first half but we fought through it. It was a good game at a good venue."
Anderson agreed that UCLA "had some good play though a lot of it was also self-imposed," such as when Battaglia had his nice breakaway down the right sideline negated by an in-goal knock-on two minutes after that. But a try by captain Seamus Kelly soon turned the tide back in Cal's favor and the Bears never trailed again.
Two tries by UCLA winger Sebastian Sharpe and another off a kick-and-chase by wing Martial Chaput accounted for the balance of UCLA's scoring.
California moves to 12-0 overall while UCLA falls to 6-3 overall and 0-1 in the conference, but despite the loss, Bruins head coach Scott Stewart said UCLA was "delighted to be hosting our first-ever PAC Rugby match" and praised the nascent conference's potential for "future growth both as an athletic pursuit and a commercial entity as we work hard to build its structure and appeal."
The Cal reserves also won Saturday, defeating the Bruins, 81-0.
The other PAC Rugby Conference this weekend between Utah and Oregon State was postponed due to inclement weather in Salt Lake City.
The Bears return to Berkeley for a three-match home set, starting with Arizona (3-2, 0-1) in another PAC matchup next Saturday, March 2, at 1 p.m, with a reserve-grade match following the Starting XV.
The following week kicks off under the lights on Witter Rugby Field with a rare Monday night match against Penn State (3-0)-- an even rarer opponent in the regular season -- starting at 6 p.m. Cal then hosts James Madison, which will just be underway with its spring season when it plays Cal in the teams' first-ever meeting Wednesday night at 6 p.m. in Strawberry Canyon.
PAC Rugby Conference Standings
Team W-L-T Points California 2-0-0 10 Utah 1-0-0 5 UCLA 0-1-0 1 Oregon State 0-0-0 0 Arizona State 0-1-0 0 Arizona 0-1-0 0(Points System: Win = 4 pts, Tie = 2 pts, Loss = 0 pts, Score 4+ Tries = 1 pt, Lose by 7 or less = 1 pt)
PAC Rugby Conference Schedule
Date Matchup/Result Location Feb. 2 California 104, Arizona State 0 Berkeley, CA Feb. 9 Utah 43, Arizona 10 Las Vegas, NV Feb. 23 California 75, UCLA 22 Los Angeles, CA Oregon State at Utah (Postponed) Salt Lake City, UT March 2 Arizona at California Berkeley, CA UCLA at Oregon State Corvallis, OR Arizona State at Utah Salt Lake City, UT March 9 Utah at UCLA Los Angeles, CA California at Oregon State Corvallis, OR March 30 Arizona at Arizona State Tempe, AZ Utah at California Berkeley, CA April 5 UCLA at Arizona Tucson, AZ Oregon State at Arizona State Tempe, AZ April 7 Oregon State at Arizona Tucson, AZ UCLA at Arizona State Tempe, AZ
The Scoring Timeline vs. UCLA:
02:00 UCLA (Race Noeldner) 5, (Ben Francis) 2
05:00 Jake Anderson 5
25:00 UCLA (Sebastian Sharpe) 5
33:00 UCLA (Martial Chaput) 5
Halftime Score: California 33, UCLA 17
79:00 UCLA (Sebastian Sharpe) 5
Final Score: California 75, UCLA 22
The Team vs. UCLA:
15. Anderson, 14. Battaglia (Tucker @ 40:00), 13. Kelly © (Quimson @ 71:00), 12. Okusi, 11. Shaulis (Lombardo @ 40:00), 10. Coquillard (Webb @ 40:00), 9. Boyer, 1. Mohr, 2. Hyjer, 3. Hurrell (Davenport @ 39:00), 4. Barrett, 5. Coleman (Purdy @ 69:00), 6. O'Beirne (De Nysschen @ 71:00), 7. Gletzer, 8. Bush