Dec. 1, 2012
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Golden Bears bounced back from their second narrow loss in two days with a six-try, 36-0 win over Cal Poly to finish the tournament with a 4-2 record at the USA Rugby College 7s National Championships Saturday at the Penberthy Sports Complex at Texas A&M.
California exited the USAR 7s nationals with a +81 points differential and a +13 try differential, margins that were exceeded only by the two finalists, Arkansas State and Life, in the 24-team field. Cal fell three points short in its 10-7 loss on Friday to the eventual champion Red Wolves.
The Bears began their Saturday with a mostly reserve lineup in a reunion with the Texas Longhorns, whom Cal last faced in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Collegiate Rugby Championship 7s. Texas got on the board first with a try from Skylar Talley that was converted by Remi Martinez. Down 7-0, the Bears responded with a try by Jake Anderson, which he also converted, to tie the score at 7-7 going into the break.
Scoring opportunities were few and far between as the Bears battled San Diego State in their next match. Barrientes had a try in his sights in the fourth minute but knocked the ball on as he dove for the score. Two minutes later, the Aztecs' Stephen Tomasin found the try zone and Kalei Konrad's conversion made it a 7-0 game.
In the second half, Cal worked hard to create scoring chances but was unable to break through. Jake Anderson stole a lineout at midfield but the junior 7s All-American knocked the ball on during the ensuing attack. The Bears advanced to the San Diego State 22 with time winding down but were whistled for leaving their feet at a ruck, allowing the Aztecs to kick the ball out for the final whistle and victory.
Their loss to SDSU set up Cal's final match of the fall 7s season against Cal Poly, and the Bears answered the bell. Five different players accounted for the team's six tries, starting with Josh Tucker in the second minute and followed by tries from Carl Hendrickson and Andrew Battaglia before halftime. Andre Coquillard recorded a pair in the second half and freshman Charles Guiraud finished the scoring summary for Cal's season. Anderson connected on 3-of-6 conversion kicks.
The Bears end their first full season on the seven-a-side, Olympic code if the game with a 23-5 (.821) record, having won three of the five events they entered, including the inaugural PAC Sevens Rugby Tournament, and reaching the semifinal of another.
"The boys would say they're disappointed in the tournament. I'm less so," said head coach Jack Clark. "I think we played pretty close to our abilities throughout the tournament, only letting ourselves down on occasion, which is part of sport. We showed we were the better team in the matches we won and were certainly very competitive in the two matches that got by us. Our first fall season of 7s rugby was largely successful, something we can build upon."
Cal will now direct its efforts toward a spring season of 15s with its home pitch, Witter Rugby Field, which reopens in January after a two-year hiatus during the renovation of Memorial Stadium.
Following the 2013 spring season of 15s, Cal will return for the fourth straight year to the CRC 7s, televised in June from Philadelphia on NBC.
The Scoring Timeline vs. Texas
04:00 Texas (Skylar Talley) 5, (Remi Martinez) 2
06:00 Jake Anderson 5, 2
Halftime Score: California 7, Texas 7
12:00 Patrick Barrientes 5
Final Score: California 19, Texas 7
The Team vs. Texas
1. Okusi, 2. Braun, 3. Bush, 4. Boyer, 5. Anderson, 6. Barrientes, 7. Guiraud
The Scoring Timeline vs. San Diego State
06:00 SDSU (Stephen Tomasin) 5, (Kalei Konrad) 2
Halftime and Final Score: San Diego State 7, California 0
The Team vs. San Diego State
1. Coquillard, 2. Battaglia, 3. Kelly (c), 4. Boyer, 5. Bosco, 6. Anderson, 7. Lombardo
The Scoring Timeline vs. Cal Poly
02:00 Josh Tucker 5
07:00 Andrew Battaglia 5
Halftime Score: California 17, Cal Poly 0
13:00 Charles Guiraud 5
Final Score: California 36, Cal Poly 0
The Team vs. Cal Poly
1. Hendrickson, 2. Battaglia, 3. Coquillard, 4. Boyer, 5. Anderson, 6. Kelly ©, Tucker
USA Rugby College 7s National Championships