Evident by the program’s history of success, overcoming hardships is instilled in the culture of Cal’s men’s rugby. This spring season has presented a unique set of challenges from consistent scheduling changes due to COVID-19 complications.
For perspective, COVID-19-related complications have seen the Bears postpone their Jan. 22 matchup against Santa Clara, cancel their Jan. 26 matchup against UBC and add a few changed dates and new opponents. Needless to say, this is a difficult adjustment for any sports team.
Amid a series of schedule changes, the Bears have landed on an Arizona trip to face Arizona on Feb. 19 and GCU on Feb. 21.
As the Bears and coach Jack Clark continue their pursuit of yet another 15s championship, the elephant in the room has grown bigger. That is, will the Bears be able to accomplish the feat of an undefeated season?
The blue and gold currently hold an 18-0 record, winning their last showing 120-0. While expected of this program, this type of dominant performance is commendable nonetheless. Winning a 15s championship appears possible.
In their first matchup against Arizona, the Bears will play on William David Sitton Field. This will be the fourth matchup between the Bears and the Wildcats this season, with Cal winning the first three. The Bears ended the Wildcats’ 2021 7’s championship pursuit with a 27-5 blowout in the semifinals, an outcome that will certainly be on the Wildcats’ mind come Saturday.
The Bears will then travel to Phoenix to face Grand Canyon University. GCU’s last matchup was against Arizona in 2021, where it won the Cactus Cup by a score of 50-3.
After a nearly 20-day wait, these upcoming matchups will test the Bears’ ability to shake off rust from extended time off. The 18-game win streak will certainly serve as a strong motivator in the quest for a 15’s championship.
AJ Alany covers rugby. Contact him at [email protected].