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Paced by two tries from Jared Braun - his team's first try and his team's last - and with Jake Anderson kicking dependably, Cal held off the UBC Thunderbirds 33-24 in the first leg of the annual two-game series between the two.

Cal will make the trip to Vancouver for the follow-up game in March leading the series by nine points.

Cal also got tries from Josh Tucker and Tiaan de Nysschen in what captain Seamus Kelly called a brave performance. Anderson was solid with the boot, kicking two conversions and three penalties before giving way to Harry Adolphus.