Cal's rugby Bears were forced to take a "bye" this weekend in the wake of a rain-drenched spring schedule. Next Saturday, the Berkeley ruggers will travel to CSU-Chico for a weather-postponed league contest against the Wildcats before meeting their final NorCal opponent, St. Mary's College, at Witter Rugby Field on March 20.
While the Bears were idled, Cal's potential competitiors in the upcoming national 15s championships were busy.
In a 15-10 Saturday victory over the University of Utah, Brigham Young University earned a "bye" in the Pacific Coast Rugby Football Union play-offs and took the #1 seeding in the competition for the national collegiate crown.
BYU was Cal's nemesis in last year's USA Rugby championship match.
The top Northern California side--to be determined when the regular season ends this month--will also bypass the PCRFU play-offs to claim the second seeding in the nationals. Presently, Cal is atop the local league with a 3-0 record against Stanford, UC-Davis and Sacramento State, trailed by St. Mary's.
BYU's play on Saturday offered some valuable clues about the Cougars' likely performance in the upcoming nationals. BYU won five of 12 lineouts, nine of ten scrums and earned 20 of 35 penalties. Most telling, though, was the fact that the Cougars were held to scoring only penalty kicks against the Utes while allowing two tries.
More national berths were earned from weekend play in Southern California as San Diego State University and the University of Arizona won the #3 and #8 seedings.
Rounds of 16 and eight will be contested April 16-18 at UC-Santa Barbara and at Life University in Marietta, Ga., followed by semifinal and final rounds at Stanford University's Steuber Stadium on April 30 and May 1.