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UCLA edged Arizona 18-12 in PAC play on Saturday in Los Angeles. Using a strong first quarter of the game, the Bruins held on to beat a young Arizona side.
The Bruins started fast scoring 15 points in the first 12 minutes of the match. Seniors Zach Bonte and Pierre Courporn led the way in the forwards each dotting down after number eight Jax Carter powered over from a scrum.
“UCLA came out really firing….They really jumped up early,” said Arizona coach Sean Duffy.
Arizona settled into the match after falling behind, containing a potent UCLA attack.
“We settled down and did some really good things defensively,” added Duffy. “UCLA is really good attacking team but we really did some good things defensively at the breakdown, in our tracking and tackling.”
The Wildcats struck back off a scrum through fullback Tyler Sously. The sophomore cut through the UCLA and scored to cut the lead to 15-5. Tyler Hanson cut the lead to 15-12 right at the end of the half. Arizona worked it back and forth near the try zone before the number eight cut inside a defender right near the goal line for a try at the posts.
The game went into the break at 15-12 and neither team could muster a try in the second half. UCLA added a penalty to extend the lead to 18-12 and held on for the victory.
“We had a lot of opportunities and get in and do some damage in UCLA’s half but we were not able to capitalize,” added Duffy.
The Bruins had a strong defensive performance in the second half, slowing up the Arizona ball.
“They did a lot of good things in the breakdown as well. Both teams were really combative at the breakdown which was exciting and back and forth,” said Duffy. “It came down to who was able to capitalize on the few opportunities that they had. UCLA was able to do that a little better than us.”
UCLA moves to 3-0 in PAC play while Arizona falls to 0-3 in league play. Each team will take on its in state rival next week. UCLA battles Cal and Arizona hosts Arizona State.