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Cal Just Holds Off UCLA

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Cal Just Holds Off UCLA

David Barpal photo.

Cal had all sorts of trouble shaking loose UCLA in Saturday's PAC Rugby Conference clash in Los Angeles, but eventually the Bears (ranked #5 by Goff Rugby Report) prevailed over the #37 Bruins 18-12.

Tries by Scott Walsh and Andrew Battaglia, one converted, and two penalty kicks from Jake Anderson kept the Bruins at bay on North Athletic Field. Cal never trailed as they moved to 3-0 in the conference. But even though they were always in front, the Bears had to battle mightily against UCLA, with a combination of intense pressure by the hosts and some unforced errors by the visitors keeping the game close.

"Cal's always been the standard that we try to emulate and build our program toward being in these games, and today that was our opportunity," said Bruins head coach Scott Stewart.

UCLA center Race Noeldner intercepted a Russell Webb pass and turned it into a 75-meter try-scoring run in the 63rd minute, converted by Ben Francis, and forward Zach Bonte added the other second-half try for UCLA, turning a 15-0 Cal lead into a 15-12 nail-biter. But Cal held on, and Anderson slotted a penalty right at the end just to make sure. 

"We kind of let off in the second half," said Anderson. "We're going to have to pick it up for a big opportunity next weekend."

In the reserve-grade contest, Cal defeated UCLA, 96-0.

The result puts Cal at 3-0 in the Conference, with UCLA, by virtue of a close-loss bonus point, move to 2nd despite being 1-2. Utah sits at 1-0, and next week will visit Cal in a game with everything on the line.



Cal 18
Tries Walsh, Battaglia
Convs Anderson
Pens Anderon 2
Tries Noeldner, Bonte
Convs Francis



Updated PAC Conference Standings

PAC W L T Pf Pa Pd BT BL Pts
Cal 3 0 0 294 29 265 2 0 14
UCLA 1 2 0 56 68 -12 1 1 6
Utah 1 0 0 38 0 38 1 0 5
Oregon State 0 1 0 12 44 -32 0 0 0
Arizona 0 1 0 0 76 -76 0 0 0
Arizona State 0 1 0 17 100 -83 0 0 0