Cal Travels South For Contest With UCLA – California Golden Bears Athletics
Cal, UCLA set for contest on Saturday in Los Angeles.
Bears, Bruins To Face Off Saturday In Los Angeles
BERKELEY – California rugby heads to Los Angeles for the second time this season as the Golden Bears take on UCLA in a D1A PAC Conference matchup on Saturday. The Bears and the Bruins will face off at Wallis Annenberg Stadium at 1 p.m. PST. Tickets will be available for purchase at the front gate, and fans unable to attend in person can watch the live stream.
The Bears (5-0) are coming off a short break in competition following a dominant start to their campaign, with five games won over the span of a week. Last time out, Cal hosted UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 20 in its home opener at Witter Rugby Field where the Bears routed the Gauchos 119-0. Cal had 16 different try scorers, including co-captain Alex Aguero, Dougie Brown and Dom Paga who each had a pair.
Cal has traveled south once already this season, getting off to a 3-0 start at the annual Dennis Storer Classic, hosted by UCLA on Jan. 13-14. The Bears and the Bruins met on the tournament’s second day when Cal shut out UCLA 21-0 to clinch the program’s 18th-consecutive tournament title. Senior Caleb Tomasin scored a brace of tries and sophomore Max Threlkeld contributed a score, while Kealan O’Connell went 3-for-3 on the extras to tally up the Bears’ 21 points. Cal’s seasoned forward pack had a strong defensive performance to hold the Bruins scoreless.
Cal and UCLA last met for a regular-season matchup on Feb. 11, 2023 in Berkeley. The Bears claimed a 50-13 win in what was head coach Jack Clark’s milestone 700th career win in 15-a-side competition. Six out of the Bears’ eight try-scorers in the contest are 2023-24 returners.
UCLA has recorded a handful of wins this academic year, including victories in friendlies with USC, San Diego State, Santa Clara, Loyola Marymount, University of San Diego and Long Beach State. The Bruins also notched a notable 20-12 win over Oxford’s touring side at Wallis Annenberg Stadium in December. They defeated UC San Diego (19-12) and UC Santa Cruz (26-7) at the Storer Classic and, most recently, had a decisive 84-5 win over Utah at home on Jan. 27. Last year, the Bruins collected seven wins in spring XVs, including wins over Cal Poly (36-27), UC Santa Barbara (59-10) and Utah (56-17).
This year, Cal has given a majority of its roster competition minutes over its five matches. Thirty-one players have combined to make up the Bears’ 56 tries scored this season, and Cal’s stout defense has only allowed one converted try to be scored against the team. The team is likely to bring an experienced squad to Westwood for its first conference matchup of the year.
“We’ve certainly been working hard as a team as the season has developed, and I think we’ve prepared well for this weekend’s match against UCLA,” co-captain Charlie Walsh said. “There are a couple aspects of the game that we have been focusing on, and I think with a real intent on those focus areas, we’ll be able to set a good foundation. We’re excited to play and can’t wait to compete.”
Immediately following the 1p.m. match, Cal and UCLA will also play a reserve-grade contest.
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