Ruggers Romp Over Gaels

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When the Cal men's rugby team arrived in Moraga to take on St. Mary's Saturday, it found a slow, muddy track and a Gaels team that was ready for a fight.

But Saturday was more of the same Bears rugby - wear the opponent out and then take control. Despite a close halftime score, Cal stayed calm and dominated the second half en route to a 58-17 win.

"We kind of wore them down a little bit, in the first half," Bears coach Jack Clark said. "We were creating a bit of damage to them, although not on the scoreboard, and we kind of reaped the benefits of the first half in the second half."

After playing a solid, but low-scoring half, Cal (2-0) took a 22-12 lead into the intermission. After a quick St. Mary's score early in the second half, the Bears lead was cut to 22-17.

But 11 minutes and 10 unanswered points later, the Gaels realized they were no longer in the game. Unfortunately for both teams, a few St. Mary's players let their emotions get out of hand.

After a Kort Schubert try, Cal moved out to a 32-17 lead, but before Andy Tamayo could attempt the conversion, a fistfight broke out in the center of the muddy field.

"After halftime, we knew that we just had to stay focused," Cal's Andy Armstrong said. "Some guys started throwing punches and we just (couldn't) sink down to their level. We knew we were eventually going to win that game."

"Those things happen," Clark added. "One team gets frustrated when things aren't going their way, but we have to be more disciplined than that. If somebody can get under our skin that easy and (make us feel as though) we have to defend ourselves physically, then that's not an asset to our game."

In the final 26 minutes, the Bears simply dominated. Cal reeled off 24 unanswered points during that time.

"We played better," lock Matt Kane said. "There was good intensity out there by all 15 players and we played really good, hard rugby. In these kind of conditions you have to do that."

Before the game, the Cal coaching staff was a bit concerned because of the recent wet weather and the lack of a decent drainage system at the St. Mary's field. More often than not, poor field conditions tend to level the playing field between unevenly matched teams. But prior to the game, the weather was much better than expected.

"It was just a good day for rugby," said Kane, who recorded one of the Bears' four trys in the first half. "The sun was shining, there was a little mud, and there was a lot intensity, all the way around."

Saturday, Chico State travels to Cal to try its luck at putting an end to the Bears' undefeated season. The game will be played at Witter Field at 1 p.m.


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