Feb. 28, 2012
BERKELEY - California travels to Salt Lake City this weekend to face the Pac-12's Utah Utes on Saturday, March 3, at 1 p.m. MT in Rio Tinto Stadium.
The home of Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake, Rio Tinto Stadium is the site of the Golden Bears' 21-14 victory over Brigham Young University at the 2011 national collegiate title match. On March 3, it will provide the pitch on which these two sides face each other in 15s for the first time since the 2011 national semifinals, when Cal defeated Utah, 62-14, at Infinity Park in Glendale, Colo.
The Utes (4-2) feature returning All-America prop Nick Mostyn and AA honorable mention Scott Matecalf at flanker, as well as All-America Don Pati in the backs, where he is joined by AA honorable mention A.J. Tuineau.
Other than its losses at Saint Mary's and San Francisco Golden Gate, Utah has victories in 2012 over Utah Valley, Utah State, UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly. The Bears (10-1), coming off their 22-20 loss against the Mustangs, will look to right the ship against a difficult opponent.
Cal's Feb. 25 defeat in San Luis Obispo brought closure to a run of victories that included undefeated, untied seasons in 2010 and 2011. Head coach Jack Clark offered his philosophy on the selection process that continues to steer the course of the program.
"I don't have any second thoughts about giving more players an opportunity to represent Cal last week. It's what we have always done, normally successfully but not always," said coach Clark. "Competition is an important aspect of developing players and we are committed to providing meaningful competition opportunities to the whole of our team."
Clark referred to the Utes as "one of the better teams in the country and it will require a solid performance to better them. We are fortunate to have a team such as Utah as a Pac-12 power in rugby."
Saturday is expected to be dry at Rio Tinto Stadium, with a 20 percent chance of precipitation, a forecasted low temperature of 32 degrees and a high of 44.
Tickets to this match are $10 each for general admission. Students and military personnel are $6, and children under 12 are free with a paying adult. Advance ticket sales are available at RioTintoStadium.com. For a map and directions to the venue, click here.
Advance tickets are also now on sale for the Collegiate Rugby Championship sevens tournament held June 2-3 at PPL Park in Philadelphia. Visit www.usasevenscrc.com/tickets/cal to take advantage of special offers for Cal fans.