We pick up where we left off yesterday on our photo essay of the rugby slugfest in the redwoods of Santa Cruz.
Below I continue with my amateur's attempt at recapping the match up between the UC Santa Cruz Fighting Banana Slugs and the Golden Bears of California.
The second half began with UCSC kicking off to the Golden Bears, who once again went to quick work against the Slugs. Within the first few minutes of the half, the Bears had made their way down to UCSC's zone with a couple nice runs.
Freshman scrumhalf Jose Pena (thanks RugbyVet) scored the first try of the second half for the Bears on a nifty scamper.
Just a couple minutes later the Bears had struck again, via RugbyVet's recap, sophomore Brandon Kraft then took over flyhalf duties and went perfect 5 for 5 on conversions the rest of the day.
The Slugs responded quickly, capitalizing on a Golden Bear error to score their second try of the game.
UCSC's flyhalf had an excellent day with his one penalty kick and three conversions.
A sloppy pass by the one of young Bears was snatched up immediately by the Slugs and quickly returned for a try in a very impressive sequence of events.
Before the next kick off to the Slugs, number 9 on UCSC took a page from the Cal football team, leading his squad in the familiar "WHOSE DOMICILE? OUR DOMICILE!" cheer, which was well received by the Cal fans in attendance.
A couple more shots from the second half action.
Cal's eleventh try of the day was ground out in the corner of the field.
Before kicking back off to the Bears a spectator called out to one of the UCSC players requesting the score:
UCSC player: "I don't know, like 42-21?" (At this point, the score was more like 60-something to 24)
Spectator: "That's close."
Player: (Exhausted) "No it's not"
Right after this exchange, Cal made quick work of the Slugs and scored again...
As I had mentioned in the first half, number 9 of the Slugs took the onslaught in stride and made some pretty funny remarks to both the fans and his teammates during the second half.
After a UCSC player was ejected for hitting a Cal player in the head while going for the ball, number 9 called out "Get off the field! You dirty bird you!"
Several other Slugs joined in on the fun, while the ref in the photo above was explaing the kick out the guy in the helmet ran up jokingly exclaiming "You got the wrong Michael!"
Number 7, who had been taking a beating on every in bound or kick off that went to Slugs, at one point turned to the crowd saying "Why do I always have to catch? I'm sick of catching." [chuckles from the crowd] "No seriously, I always get f**ked up on those. It's bad enough they're already in better shape than I am!"
The Slugs continued to fight to the end, but were held by the Bears at every turn, closing out the game with a final score of 87-24.
Both teams met amiably at midfield to exchange handshakes and congratulations.
As the teams met on the field, I noticed that the UCSC team walked through the Cal team to shake hands, instead of the usual two passing lines you see in many sports. I wasn't sure if this is usual tradition or if it just happened by chance, but thought it was interesting.
After the game, Yes We Cannon, Mr. F and myself grabbed a couple more shots of the field and retired to a local joint, burger., for some grub and proper pint. Delicious grass fed organic beef and a couple Stone ales were enjoyed while we exchanged Vinnie Strang stories and funny away game experiences, before parting our separate ways.
All in all a fantastic day out, for the Golden Bears, the Slugs and the CGBers in attendance. Thanks again to all the folks who helped me craft up this post. Hopefully we'll see a couple more contests between the Bears and Slugs in the near future, because this one was a blast!
Go Bears and Go Slugs!