Golden Nuggets: Cal Rugby Returns to Witter Field with an 81-0 Win Over Santa Clara

Playing their first match at Witter in nearly three years, the Bears picked up right where they left off. Cal has now outscored its opponents 246-7 this year.

With the football team taking over Witter field the past two springs, Jack Clark and his men have been on a 33-month tour. On Wednesday the Bears finally returned home and picked up right where they left off at Witter.

Eakalafi Okusi scored three of California's 13 tries in his Witter Rugby Field debut Wednesday night along with a lineup of almost exclusively frosh-sophs who contributed to an 81-0 win over Santa Clara in the first match played on the Golden Bears' home pitch in 33 months.

Cal was stout on defense with its fourth shutout of the season. Other try scorers for the Bears included freshmen Patrick Barrientes and Russell Webb, and sophomoreNicklas Boyer with two apiece. Boyer was 6-for-10 on conversions and Barrientes connected on 2-of-3.

While the official reopening of Witter Rugby Field will certainly get its due on Saturday, Wednesday night was poignant in its own right as the entire lineup for the Golden Bears - starting with third-year junior match-day captain Carl Hendrickson, 10 sophomores and four freshmen - played their first career matches on the home pitch for the oldest sport at the University.

"It was a huge honor to lead the team out onto the field and play the first game at Witter Rugby Field in more than two years," said Hendrickson. "It's great seeing the fans come out even though it was a rainy night."

The field, flooded by TV-grade lights on a damp but still evening, glittered with its permanent kicking nets and towering goalposts, and the fans who enjoyed the match from the south bleachers and cheered their Bears loudly.

Okusi, who scored all three of his tries in the second half before yielding to a replacement, said that while the team is united in its joyful return to Strawberry Canyon, "There's a lot of competition on this team and that's a good thing. We all want to come out and play our guts out in front of these fans."

Cal will officially celebrate the re-opening of Witter Field with a spectacular beatdown of Stanfurd on Saturday. What finer way to spend a Saturday afternoon? The match begins at 2pm.

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