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The PAC Rugby Conference opened play this weekend with the state of California getting the better of Arizona. The number one ranked Bears defeated Arizona 39-12 while UCLA downed Arizona State 38-15.
Led by a four-try performance from prop Kevin Sullivan, the Bears were able to come away with a comfortable win. Sullivan scored the first three of the game and along with a score from Troy Lockyear, the Bears led 22-0 at the break.
[I was able to score thanks to] good strike phases by my teammate before I got the ball, which left me plenty of space to work with," Sullivan said of his offensive outburst.
Arizona got on the board early in the second half through Zach Biggs, but Cal was able to respond with a trio of tries, including the fourth of the day for Sullivan.
Arizona added one score in the waning moments and the game ended 39-12. Overall, it was a solid win for the Bears, who moved to 5-0 on the season.
“We have to take a look at the film to see how much of a step forward this was today, but I thought our patterns of play flowed little better," said senior center Anthony Salaber.
For Arizona, the Wildcats are showing improvement. In years past, Cal had given the Wildcats lopsided defeats. This result, and with only one senior in the starting lineup, Arizona has a lot to look of positives going into the future.
“Dissapointed with the result obviously but pleased with the growth from last week in certain aspects for us,” said Arizona coach Sean Duffy. I liked the energy we brought and the way the guys are trusting each other and the system. It is a good sign for the future to see guys perform well in a game like this.”
Over in Tempe, Ariz. UCLA defeated Arizona State 38-15. Unlike the Bears, however, the Bruins needed a strong second half comeback to pull away from the Sun Devils.
An error prone first half resulted in UCLA trailing at the break. The Bruins tallied two tries but yielded fifteen points before the intermission.
The visitors turned it around in the second half, however, scoring 28 unanswered points. James Francis tallied the go ahead try at the start of the second half and the Bruins followed with three more from, Andrew Alex, Patrick French, and Connor Bercik.
With the win, UCLA slots into second place behind Cal after one week of action. Conference play will continue next weekend with several games. Utah will travel to Cal and UCLA will head to Arizona.