April 17, 1998
HOUSTON - The Cal rugby team scratched out a 37-5 win over Colorado State to advance to the 'elite eight' round of the National Collegiate Championships today. The Bears play Dartmouth Sunday for a place in the Final Four.
It was an ugly win. Torrential rain made handling difficult and many starters were sidelined with a view to the Dartmouth match. But neither the conditions nor the line-up fully excused Cal's numerous missed opportunities. Despite spending all but a few minutes of the first half camped deep in Colorado State territory, the Bears could only manage one try, missing many more because of dropped passes and other unforced errors.
Cal increased their lead shortly after the break following an emphatic half-time speech from head coach Jack Clark who insisted on a better performance or players would be benched. Captain and flyhalf Dave Stroble led the surge with a converted try and a penalty kick in the first 10 minutes of the half. With the score at 17-0, the Bears were beginning to look like they had control of the match.
Then Colorado State managed to gather their own clearing kick and streak in for a try of their own. With only a 12 point margin, the match was wide open again. It took three more Cal tries in the last 20 minutes to secure the game. "It was frustrating to not perform anywhere near as well as we can," said Stroble, "but we did gain composure and form as the match went on."
Dartmouth, rugby champions of the Ivy League, had a similar Sweet Sixteen match against Clemson. Tied 8-8 at the half, Dartmouth scored four second half tries for a 32-15 win. Sunday's game kicks off at 12.30 p.m. at Rice University.
1st Half 2nd Half Final Cal 7 30 37 Colorado St. 0 5 5