November 9, 2015
Bears Win Fourth Straight Pac 7s Title
Photo: Cal Athletics: Alex Menendez
Cal Athletics Press Release: Anton Malko, November 08, 2015
“BERKELEY – California won its fourth straight conference title in the Olympic style of rugby Sunday on Witter Rugby Field, where the Golden Bears completed a 6-0 sweep of the PAC Rugby 7s Championship with a 17-5 win over UCLA in the cup final.
The Bears’ win over the Bruins was preceded by a 34-10 cup semifinal victory over Arizona State on Sunday, giving Cal a two-day total of 253 points on 41 tries with +238 differential, each of which more than doubled the numbers posted by any other team in the competition.
It took a gritty effort to get past the Bruins in the final, where UCLA knocked on the door several times but could not get past the Cal defense until the last minute of play, when Seb Sharpe scored for the visitors to avert a shutout.
“This was the most highly contested PAC 7s we’ve ever had. It was a collective effort by all the teams that was impressive, and though we didn’t play the greatest 7s ever, when we had to dig in, we did,” said Anthony Salaber, who scored a try in the semifinal but found his best chances to score against the Bruins stymied. “It was special to be able to compete for our university in front of our friends and family. We wouldn’t have wanted to do it any other place than here.”
First-year Cal student-athlete Thomas Robles, a junior transfer who scored the Bears’ final try of the cup final, agreed that UCLA was a stout test, “but we were able to hold together on defense physically and mentally. Credit to the more senior members of our team who gave me confidence to be a part of this, who enabled me with their confidence to go out there and be an effective athlete.”
Bears head coach Jack Clark left the pitch at the end of Sunday more pleased, perhaps, with the standard of the event Cal hosted that the standard of play his team put forth for national TV on Pac-12 Networks, despite his team’s successful retention of the conference 7s crown for the fourth straight year.
“We had a couple of pretty good performances Saturday and were a little more scrappy today, but it’s good to win. We don’t want to just play winning rugby, we want to play attractive rugby as well. We could have done a better job but you can’t let good be the enemy of great, as they say.”
With the completion of its fall 7s slate at 17-0, Cal will next transition to spring 15s, competing in the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup National Championships prior to the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship 7s before next summer’s Olympic Games mark the return of rugby as medal sport for the first time since 1924.
Before they play more rugby, however, the Bears must next buckle down for the homestretch of their academic semester at the No. 1 public university in the world.”
Arizona 17, Stanford 0
Colorado 31, Oregon 7
Cal 34, ASU 10
UCLA 19, Utah 0
9th/10th Match: USC 12, Oregon State 10
Shield Final: Stanford 7, Oregon 5
Bowl Final: Arizona 17, Colorado 5
Plate Final: ASU 24, Utah 12
Cup Final: Cal 17, UCLA 5