Home-field advantage takes on new meaning when it comes to Cal rugby. The Bears (6-0, 2-0 PAC Rugby Conference) have not lost a match on Witter Field since 2007 and kept that streak going with a blowout victory against Oregon State (0-2, 0-1 PAC Rugby). Fourteen different players scored for the Bears, as they won their home-opener by a final scoreline of 134-0 Saturday afternoon.
Cal drew first blood only four minutes into the game with a try from junior scrum-half Nicklas Boyer, making the score 5-0 and setting the tone for the Bears early in the match. Following Boyer’s try, the Bears piled on points mercilessly, including hat tricks from Russell Webb, Tiaan De Nysschen and Patrick Barrientes.
As the whistle blew, signaling the end of the first half of play, the Bears had tallied 12 tries and had taken a commanding 76-0 lead over Oregon State. The Beavers exited the half a defeated team, unable to keep pace with Cal’s high-powered offense and stout defensive play.
Coach Clark’s squad did not let up in the second half. Sophomore Harry Adolphus scored in the first minute of play. The Bears continued to dominate possession, and a deluge of points continued to rain down on the Beavers’ hapless defense.
“We had most of the possessions today, so we put a lot of pressure on them,” Clark said. “It’s really not in our DNA to think too highly of ourselves, so we just want to take away what we can from this game and continue to get better for Stanford.”
The Bears’ strength in the scrum added to their overall offensive efficiency, scoring seven of the team’s 22 tries in the match and keeping the Beavers from establishing any sort of attack. Oregon State was simply outmatched, giving up points almost every three minutes.
“It was just a matter of us having superior athletes,” Clark said. “This isn’t necessarily the type of game we can learn much from, but it was a good experience for our guys and a chance to really perfect our system before tackling the bulk of our schedule.”
As the game came to an end, Cal walked away with its second straight game scoring more than 100 points, a feat that has become the norm. The Bears attack has averaged 75.3 points per game through the first six games of the season, while their defense is conceding an average of two points during their six-game winning streak.
Despite their continued dominance and unblemished record, the Bears still manage to pinpoint the minute flaws in their game.
“You know, our scrums definitely could have been better today,” Clark said. “We need eight men playing together as a cohesive unit, not as individuals. If we can continue to have most of the possessions and really control the flow of the game, we are going to be in good shape for the remainder of the season.”
After downing Oregon State in their conference opener, the Bears find themselves tied for first place in the PAC Rugby Conference along with rival UCLA.
“The guys know that these next few games are going to be critical,” Clark said. “We need to be playing perfect rugby if we want to beat UCLA. There’s still a lot of work for us to do if we are going to compete against teams who can put pressure on us.”
Christian Legg covers rugby. Contact him at [email protected].