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Battling its second PAC Conference opponent, #17 UCLA extended its winning streak to three games with a pounding of Oregon State, 82-5. Playing at home in Los Angeles, Calif., the Bruins almost completed the shutout if not for a try by the Beavers at the very end of regulation. UCLA dominated every facet of the match reeling off 14 straight tries by 11 different players. For its victory, UCLA will enjoy a bye week before welcoming Arizona to town on February 20th.
UCLA head coach Scott Stewart indicated that the Bruin’s relentless pressure was the key to victory. “We did well to apply pressure to the Beavers both in attack and defense, we now have to polish up our finish on opportunities that were created,” Stewart said. “Oregon State worked very hard, but struggled at times with pace of play, but they are a young side that showed some true grit by working hard until the final whistle, which ultimately earned them a try at the final whistle.”
The scoring started early and often for the Bruins with six tries in the first half. Patrick LaFontaine and Luke Hoffmann scored tries in the first ten minutes, which was followed by superb efforts by Sebastian Sharpe, Niall Barry, and Zach Bonte finding the tryzone. Hoffman finished the first half with his second try in the 39th minute to bring the point total to 34-0. Danny Thomas converted two of his kicks in the half.
There was no stop to the pressure from UCLA as it turned into a multiple scoring opportunities. Barry started the party for UCLA a minute into the half with his second try and Hoffmann completed his hat trick seven minutes later. The last 30 minutes of the game saw the parade of James Francis, Pierre Courpron, Matt Williams, Rory Howells, Christian Bernard, and Jeff Patterson march over the line for Bruins. Replacing Thomas as the kicker, Yoh Nakayama kicked three conversions in the half.
UCLA defense prevented Oregon State from crossing the tryline for almost the entire match, until a final surge over the line by the Beavers broke the shutout. Oregon State never stopped fighting, even though the lead was insurmountable. As the final whistle blew UCLA won 82-5 and are 2-0 in the PAC.
With the way the game went, UCLA head coach Scott Stewart was able to give his less experienced players extensive playing time later in the game. “We had a good day and were able to expand our depth by starting some younger players who gained valuable experience through first team playing time,” Stewart said. “Our plan was to see new players in first team roles and for the most part we played on the front foot, but still need to continue our development in order to play at a Championship level.”
According to Coach Stewart his “Key to Success” Men of the Match were Patrick LaFontaine up front for his excellent work around breakdowns and Ryan Bradfield for his tough and straight-up play in the backline.