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In the concluding match of the “World Cup” series, the University of California Berkeley took on the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Things unraveled for Cal in the second half as a competitive match turned into a bit of a rout, with UBC earning the 50-6 win.
Both teams traded penalties early, but UBC broke through at 8’ with a penalty try, awarded due to an offsides call inside the five meter line. The home team’s Theo Sauder broke through the Bears’ defense in the 12th minute and converted to go up 14-0 early. Five minutes later, Cal made a game of it with a Jamie Howells penalty to close the gap to 14-3. That score held until 35’ when UBC wing Niko Clironomos dotted the ball down, though this time the conversion clanked off the posts. Another PK by Howells made the margin 19-6 heading into half.
That score held for 14 minutes, but the UBC try at 54’ proved to be the backbreaker for the visitors. “I was pretty proud of our guys for a long stretch of that game, but in the end it got away from us,” said Cal head coach Jack Clark. “We turned over a couple balls; they’re lightning quick, so they jumped on those. It was turnovers, and they scored some quick tries, and that’s what you don’t want them to do. You want to stay in front of them and make them work for tries.”
Down 26-6, the Golden Bears opted for points again at 56’, but this time the attempt fell short and UBC answered minutes later to go up 33-6. The home team put an exclamation point on the victory with three unanswered tries in the final six minutes for the game’s final score, 50-6.
Cal will have to regroup quickly to prepare for a double header on Saturday when the Bears take on UCLA and SCU in Los Angeles, Calif.