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Cal rugby wins own Invitational

Daily Planet Wire Services
Monday March 19, 2001

It took a while, but the Cal rugby team eked out a 25-0 win over Army Sunday to clinch its own Invitational Tournament. 

The Bears were held to just 10 first half points and it took another 20 minutes of the second period before constant Cal pressure was converted into a reasonably comfortable margin on the scoreboard.  

More often than not, the Bears’ own mistakes took pressure off Army and kept the game close. 

“I’m not sure if we were made to look bad by a game Army side, or whether we just weren’t up to it, irrespective of the opponent. Certainly, we were average at best,” said Cal head coach Jack Clark. 

The Bears beat Minnesota and Army were winners over Humboldt Saturday to set up a rematch between last year’s national championship semi-final opponents. And early on, the Invitational final was something of a reprise of that encounter with the Bears making a slow start. 

Fullback Dave Guest missed a couple of penalty attempts early in the game, but was able to make amends with a try at 17 minutes. Guest added a penalty just before the halftime whistle, but the team still faced a stern halftime talk from the coaching staff. 

Early in the second period, wing Cameron Bunce was also the recipient of a well-timed pass from Sherman to cross for the Bears’ second try. 

It took a big scrum to put Cal into the clear. The Bears pushed Army off their ball just 5 meters from the Black Knights’ line, and loose forward John Willenborg dotted down – just reward for a busy game.  

Still lacking rhythm, the Bears held out the never-say-die Army side, and Guest added a late penalty to the scoreline.