Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
LOS ANGELES – The Golden Bears won their eighth straight Dennis Storer trophy, awarded in honor of UCLA’s former coach and the first coach of the U.S. National Team, as California defeated the Bruins, 29-7, Sunday on the North Athletic Field.
“We’ve opened our account and it feels good to be underway,” said head coach Jack Clark. “We know more about our team this afternoon than we did before the weekend. There are positives to be built upon and a ton of things to work on.”
Captain Seamus Kelly scored the game’s first two tries in his first action of the weekend, becoming the 54th player to represent the Bears in their 4-0 start to the spring season at this weekend event featuring six universities in the UC system.
Inside center Jared Braun and replacement flanker Alec Gletzer added tries for the Bears before UCLA’s Ben Francis scored a try and added the conversion to make it a 22-7 game. Winger Max Shaulis scored Cal’s final try, converted by fullback Jake Anderson (2-for-5).
The tournament trophy was presented to Kelly by Dorothy Storer, who called this weekend’s participants “ambassadors for the United States, the game of rugby and the world.”
Sunday’s lineup for Cal reflected an early glimpse of the Bears’ First XV, although as many as six positions appear to be open for intrasquad competition.
The final tally for the tournament showed 26 tries scored by Cal and only one allowed to the opposition.
As a whole, the Rugby Bears capitalized on their chance for the entire roster to log some match time and system development over the four matches that began Cal’s season.
“In many ways UCLA is the perfect opponent because they are well coached and a highly organized team,” coach Clark said. “They can play through multiple phases and quality of possessions, it’s really difficult to break them down in a short match.”
Kelly called the team’s performance “a positive sign although there are a lot if little things to work on. But it gives us a good base.”
The Bears return home for a midweek evening tilt against Santa Clara on Wednesday, Jan. 23, at 7:30 p.m., followed on Saturday, Jan. 26, by the battle for the Scrum Axe vs. Stanford at 1 p.m. to celebrate the official reopening of Witter Rugby Field.
The Scoring Timeline vs. UCLA
07:00 Seamus Kelly 5, Jake Anderson 2
11:00 Seamus Kelly 5
17:00 Jared Braun 5
Halftime Score: California 17, UCLA 0
32:00 Alec Gletzer 5
35:00 UCLA (Ben Francis) 5, 2
40:00 Max Shaulis 5, Jake Anderson 2
Finals Score: California 28, UCLA 7
The Team vs. UCLA
15. Anderson, 14. Battaglia, 13. Kelly ©, 12. Braun (Okusi @ 26:00), 11. Tucker (Shaulis @ 33:00) 10. Webb (Coquillard @ 33:00), 9. Bosco (Boyer @ 33:00), 1. Mohr, 2. Hyjer, 3, Hurrell (C. Fry @ 33:00), 4. Coleman, 5. Grass (Purdy @ 33:00), 6. O’Beirne, 7. Chehade (Gletzer @ 26:00), 8. De Nysschen