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Golden Nuggets: Underdog Bears Defeat BYU to Bring Home Another Rugby Championship

For the second year a row the Bears have brought home the national collegiate rugby championship.  Despite being the underdog and playing in front of a BYU-dominated crowd of over 11,000, the Bears capitalized on a handful of BYU mistakes and brought Jack Clark another championship.

"On both sides, it's the hardest thing I've ever been a part of, and you've just got to give credit to our forward pack, who just didn't stop battling the entire game," said [outside center Seamus] Kelly.

"It was a really physical battle to the very end, but we controlled possession and I'm really, really proud of my boys," said [flanker Derek]  Asbun.

Cal finishes the year 27-0 for their second straight undefeated season, while the Cougars ended their season at 15-1. Jack Clark recorded his 22nd championship as head coach of the Bears.

"It's one of those games where we weren't perfect," coach Clark said. "We just played our guts out."

BYU head coach David Smyth said his team "had our opportunities, we've just got to get better at taking them in these really close games. Cal was starving us of the ball, they kept it tight and went north and south, and put in the hard yards. It was close but again we came up a little bit short. Seasoned rugby teams know how to win wherever they're playing, and Cal did that tonight."

Cal has now won eight of the last 10 national title games and 19 of the last 21. The Bears' seven-point margin of victory was the second slimmest in the six all-time Cal-BYU finals, behind a 29-26 Cal win in 2006 and BYU's 25-22 victory in 2009.

"It's different every year because of the guys that you're around," said No. 8 Danny Barrett. "I couldn't thank my teammates more, all the family and friends, everyone from the Cal community across the country." 

After the jump softball advances through the NCAA tournament and Wilner projects this year's the Pac-12 football standings.