GRR on X  GRR on Facebook GRR in Instagram GRR Vimeo Library GRR on YouTube RuggaMatrix America Podcasts Support GRR on Patreon

UCLA Bests Cal for West Coast 7s

irish rugby tours

UCLA Bests Cal for West Coast 7s

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif - University of California Los Angeles beat University of California Berkeley (Cal) in a tight final to win the West Coast 7s Saturday at the Cal Poly Sports Complex.

"Looking at day overall, we did a lot of the things we wanted to get done," said captain Jake Anderson. "It was a decent opening to the season."

Junior James Kondrat scored a team-high four tries.

But Kondrat also typified the frustrating final that got away from Cal, as he knocked on a second-half kickoff that got lost in the late-day sun. It was one of several turnovers that hampered Cal's attack and drained time off the clock to prevent the Bears from mounting a last-ditch effort after Paul Bosco's second try and Russell Webb's conversion brought the Blue and Gold to within two points before the final whistle.

Webb's missed conversion following Bosco's first-half try proved to be the difference.

The Bears carved their way to the final by beating a scrappy host team in the Mustangs after dispatching San Jose State and Arizona in pool play.

UCLA made the final by beating UCSB 24-12 and Arizona State 22-10 in pool play. That set them up for the semis, where they upended Santa Clara 27-0.

That set up the final with their northern rivals.

The Bruins' Niall Barry scored the first try of the final in the right corner, UCLA's Ben Francis made the conversion and despite knocking on the door, Cal could not score going into halftime down, 7-0.

After Bosco's unconverted try brought the Bears to within two at 7-5, UCLA's Pierre Croupon was able to dot down within Francis' range, and his conversion made it 14-5 before Bosco's second try closed the gap and time ran out.

"The first three matches, we showed a lot of patience and discipline but maybe our emotions got to us a little in the final," said Cal's Kondrat. "We worked really hard but in the end it seemed like our mentality wasn't quite there. We're going to learn from it and work harder."

One of the favored teams, St. Mary's, did not make the top four as they took a very young and mostly untested team to San Luis Obispo.