Feb. 28, 1998
MORAGA, Calif. - The Cal rugby team got bogged down briefly against St. Mary's, but pulled away for a 49-3 win Saturday.
With ankle deep mud covering more than half the pitch, the game was slow and the handling difficult. The Bears posted three unconverted tries in the first ten minutes of the match, but St. Mary's did not buckle and spent the next 20 minutes deep in Cal territory. Thanks to some sterling defense-including one try held up over the line-the Bears limited their hosts to only a penalty kick and carried a 15-3 lead into the half-time break.
Cal answered St. Mary's with some sustained pressure of its own in the second period and began to dominate the scrums. The result was six unanswered tries, and the Bears fifth win of the season. Wing Marc Vera, flyhalf Dave Stroble and fullback John Buchholz all scored two tries each.
Cal coach Jack Clark was happy with his team's performance: "I thought we played well in very difficult conditions. It would have been easy to go out there and do just enough to win, but we scored nine tries despite a bit of a lull in the first half."
The coach also praised his squad's stingy defense. The Bears have allowed one try against them in league games so far this season.
Several starters were on the sidelines against St. Mary's as Cal continues to battle injuries. At least two -- flanker Simon Terry-Lloyd and center Paul Virk -- will be back next Saturday when Cal plays Stanford, defending the Scrum Axe at home on Witter Field at 1 p.m.
1st 2nd Final California 15 34 49 St. Mary's 3 0 3 Scoring First Half: Marc Vera, try (5), 6th min.; John Buchholz, try (5), 10th min.; St. Mary's, penalty kick (3), 19th min. Second Half: Kort Schubert, try (5), 11th min.; Vera, try (5), 18th min., Stroble, conversion (2); Stroble, try (5), 19th min.; Buchholz, try (5), 23rd min., Stroble, conversion (2); Stroble, try (5), 29th min.; Kirk Khasigian, try (5), 35th min.. Cal Record: 5-0-1