Cal Beats Arizona State To Share PAC Lead

 February 16, 2016

Cal Beats Arizona State To Share PAC Lead


Photo: ABFlyer Photo

Cal Bears Press Release: February 15, 2016

TEMPE, Ariz. – Eight California players scored a total of 13 tries and the Golden Bears held Arizona State scoreless in a 79-0 win for the Blue and Gold Monday on Sun Devil Field.

The victory put the Bears (7-1, 2-0 PAC), who were clinical at times against ASU, into a three-way tie for the top spot in the PAC Rugby Conference while the Sun Devils (1-4, O-3 PAC) remain winless in conference play.

“ASU was possibly a little stronger of a match than Arizona on Saturday and I thought the boys had a strong endeavor today,” said head coach Jack Clark. “We were pretty solid in most aspects of our play. I’m really pleased that mixing our lineups didn’t derail our performance.”

Wing Jake Goena scored three tries for Cal, joining multi-try scorers Evan Coleman, Thomas Robles and Jesse Milne, each of whom scored twice. Harry Adolphus (2-of-8), Nicklas Boyer (3-of-3) and Jamie Howells (2-of-2) handled the conversion kicking for the Bears.

A 40-meter penalty attempt by ASU’s Alex Walsh was no good in the 23rd minute as Cal recorded its sixth shutout of the spring and moved into a tie for first place in the PAC with UCLA and Utah, all at 2-0 in conference play.

“Focus, physicality and effort were our three targets today,” said matchday captain Michael Bush. “There were a lot of challenges on this road trip and a lot of minutes for a lot of different guys. It will be good to go home and get back to our normal training pattern.”

Among Monday’s starters was freshman Chase Bixby, a 6-7, 235-pound lock from Sacramento who played all 80 minutes against the Devils. “It was tough but a real privilege to put on that blue and gold jersey,” he said. “I really wanted to prove that I can contribute to this team.”

Prior to Monday’s varsity match, the reserve grade defeated ASU, 63-0.

Cal returns home to Strawberry Canyon for its next matches on Feb. 20, when the Bears host Air Force on Feb. 20 at noon preceded by a curtain raiser vs. Cal Maritime at 10 a.m. The match against the Falcons will be televised live on Pac-12 Network following the non-televised contest against the Keelhaulers. Gates to Witter Rugby Field will open at 9 a.m. and tickets can be purchased online, in advance, at, with one admission price valid for both matches. Cal students, all youth under the age of 12 and active military personnel are admitted free of charge.

Television viewers who subscribe but do not receive the Pac-12 Network’s Bay Area or national channels, where the match will be carried, can also access the Cal-Air Force match using their cable-carrier credentials at and the Pac-12 Now app.

The third and final home weekend in Cal’s February slate features the conference-play visit from UCLA on Feb. 27 at 3 p.m. That match with the Bruins figures to be a pivotal point in the Bears’ pursuit for a fourth straight PAC Rugby title. UCLA is off to a PAC-leading 2-0 conference record with wins at home over ASU and Oregon State.

The final two matches of Cal’s conference quest are March 12 at home vs. the Beavers at 1 p.m. and March 26 at Utah, where the Utes could prove to be Cal’s opponent in the PAC decider for the fourth straight year. Utah is also 2-0 in the conference and takes on UCLA in Salt Lake City on March 12.

Between Cal’s date with UCLA and the final two matches of the Bears’ PAC schedule is a showdown with Saint Mary’s in Moraga at 11 a.m. on March 5. That battle is followed four days later by a home night match vs. Santa Clara at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9, when the younger echelons of the roster figure to represent their University.

The decisive Canadian chapter of the “World Cup” series is Saturday, March 20, at 1 p.m. in Thunderbird Stadium, and the regular season ends Wednesday, March 30, in Steuber Rugby Stadium at Stanford, where frosh-soph Bears are expected to be selected for match for the Scrum Axe against the Cardinal at 6 p.m.

The Penn Mutual Varsity Cup Rugby Championship national postseason begins with first-round action April 9 and culminates May 7with the championship final, after which Cal will turn back to the Olympic style of the game at the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship June 4-5 ahead of the return of rugby to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

The Scoring Timeline vs. Arizona State

03:00 Jake Goena 5

10:00 Anthony Salaber 5, Harry Adolphus 2

15:00 Evan Coleman 5

26:00 Jake Goena 5

28:00 Connor Sweet 5

30:00 Scott Walsh 5, Harry Adolphus 2

39:00 Evan Coleman 5

Halftime Score: California 39, Arizona State 0

44:00 Jesse Milne 5

50:00 Jesse Milne, Nicklas Boyer 2

55:00 Kevin Sullivan 5, Nicklas Boyer 2

67:00 Thomas Robles 5, Nicklas Boyer 2

70:00 Jake Goena 5, Jamie Howells 2

78:00 Thomas Robles 5, Jamie Howells 2

Final Score: California 79, Arizona State 0

The Team vs. Arizona State

15. Thornton (Coleman @ 63:00), 14. Goena, 13. A. Salaber (Maggs @ 56:00), 12. Milne, 11. Coleman (Robles @ 63:00), 10. Adolphus (Howells @ 56:00), 9. Boyer (Goodwin @ 70:00), 1. Walsh (Sullivan @ 40:00), 2. Bush (Haynes @ 56:00), 3. Vrame (Baylor @ 67:00), 4. Bixby, 5. Zerbino, 6. Robles (Becker @ 63:00), 7. Mirhashem, 8. Sweet

About Author

North American Rugby News With A USA Slant