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Cal defeated UCLA 31-7 to capture the Penn Mutual CRC title. The Bears used a strong second half to run away from the Bruins and take home their fourth consecutive CRC crown.
Cal turned over UCLA at a ruck around midfield, creating the first scoring chance of the game. Like he has so well all weekend, Russell Webb counter attacked and the ball worked its way wide right. Thomas Robles beat his opposite number but he made a great play tackling the Cal forward and holding the ball up in goal.
UCLA did not hold out the bears for long, however. The Bears earned a penalty after the five-meter scrum and Jake Goena powered in for the try. Webb nailed the sideline conversion and Cal took a 7-0 lead.
The SoCal side got its first big chance off a quick tap from Zach Bonte. UCLA earned a penalty at the breakdown and Bonte caught a couple of Cal players slow to get back. The ball was swung wide and Niall Barry cut back inside on several Cal defenders. The Bruins appeared to have evened the score but the referee deemed that Barry was held in the tackle and needed to release. It appeared that the UCLA leading try scorer had slipped through but the referee awarded a penalty to Cal.
The rest of the half was back and forth but neither team was able to put points on the board. Cal went into the break up 7-0.
Cal methodically worked its way down the field to start the second half. After several strong runs from Jake Goena and Anthony Salabar, Jesse Milne dragged a defender with him to make it a two-try advantage at 14-0.
UCLA got its first big line break through Bonte. The forward was caught from behind, though and Cal turned it over at the breakdown. Patrick Barrientes picked up the ball and ran left into space. He stiff armed a defender and ran the rest of the way to the corner for a 19-0 lead.
The Bruins finally got on the board with two minutes to play. Cian Barry broke through the Cal line in its own territory. Barry drew Webb to him at midfield, took a monsterous hit, but found Seb Sharpe for a converted try under the posts.
Cal sealed the match immediately on the ensuing kickoff. The ball rolled back off the kickoff and Salabar booted the ball ahead. He scooped it up and powered in under the posts. The senior added one more after fielding the restart and running in untouched.
The Golden Bears won 31-7, improving their 7s record to 23-0 this season. This win caps off a banner year for Cal as it captured its first ever Varsity Cup title and its fourth straight CRC title in the same season.