Bears Light Up Thunderbirds, Claim World Cup

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In the first leg of the World Cup, the Cal rugby team needed a big second half to overcome British Columbia, 21-13.

The Bears did not have to recover from a halftime deficit on Thursday in the World Cup's second and deciding game, but they strung together another impressive second frame.

Cal found scoring against UBC much easier in Thunderbird Stadium than on San Francisco's Treasure Island, where the two teams squared off on Feb. 19. The Bears notched six tries from six different players in the final stanza alone to post a 54-18 victory in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Despite it being a one-point contest at halftime, the Bears' scoring spree went unanswered by the Thunderbirds until the 69th minute, when they managed their lone try of the half.

Cal (18-0, 2-0) struggled in the first half with penalties, surrendering six points on penalty kicks. The scrumhalves salvaged the half for the Bears, scoring the squad's two tries. First, senior Connor Ring capitalized on a Thunderbird penalty to register Cal's first points of the game in the 15th minute.

Ring pulled a muscle on the play, which brought freshman Paul Bosco on the pitch. To end the first half, Bosco dove into the try zone. Following senior flyhalf James Bailes' conversion, the Bears had a 14-13 lead they would not relinquish.

Bailes, who recorded the game-winning conversion against UBC last month, was nearly perfect on Thursday. The South African tacked on the extra two points in seven of his eight conversion attempts.

Outscoring UBC by a combined 75-31 over the two games, coach Jack Clark's team captured its fifth consecutive World Cup title.

Cal will travel to Ellensburg, Wash., for a conference match against Central Washington, on Saturday at 1 p.m.


Christina Jones covers rugby. Contact her at [email protected]



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