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The PAC rugby schedule featured a pair of conference games along with two non-conference bouts. The games produced interesting results but for different reasons. Cal defeated Arizona State 44-16 and Utah blasted UCLA on the road 49-8. In the non-conference action, Cal defeated Cal Poly 73-7 while Arizona bested Grand Canyon 50-12.
Cal played a pair of games on the day, splitting its squad. In the conference matchup, Cal struggled to reach their standard level of play. Juggling the lineup led to a lack of continuity and points went begging.
“The most important bit is executing. We've got to execute, whether in the scrum, the lineout or with our hands. That really is going to be the buzzword for next week at training,” said Cal captain Russell Webb.
Cal did manage to win the game with strong contributions from several players. Number 8 Drew Gaffney scored three times and winger Sam Cusano found pay dirt for two others.
A 44-16 results is pretty good for an Arizona State team that lost by over 90 points to St. Mary’s a few weeks ago. The Sun Devils are moving in the right direction and will take on Utah and Arizona in the coming weeks.
Cal rolled in its second game of the double header, beating up Cal Poly. Ten different Golden Bears found the try zone with Aidan Flynn getting two in the process.
"We have a lot of depth on our team and today was an opportunity that a lot of guys relished," said flyhalf Jamie Howells.
Utah traveled to UCLA in the other game counting towards the conference standings. The Utes dominated from the get go, monopolizing possession and territory.
“We were really happy with our ball control and our ball handling,” said Utah coach Jon Law. “We felt generally like we had the game in hand thanks to the boys playing within the system and within the structure.”
Senior leader Chad Gough scored four tries in the match but it was the underclassmen that Law was impressed with. Three players were starting in their first ever rugby game while the team also started five freshman.
“It was a pretty good showing and a testament to those guys for their play,” Law added.
Utah will take two weeks off before taking on Arizona State. The Utes will also play Arizona later in the year, which might be a game for second place.
Arizona had the week off from conference action, but picked up its third straight victory with a win over Grand Canyon. Jeremy Fleet led the way with a hat trick as Arizona cruised to victory in front of a large home crowd.
It was a nice victory for Arizona, who won on the 48th anniversary of the clubs foundation.
“We told all of our guys what this weekend was about and we're thrilled to be able to get a win in front of our alumni" said Arizona coach Sean Duffy. “Our players are all grateful for those that have come before them and they know they are able to do what they do because of those who blazed the trail in our rich history."