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Cal Rugby mauls Utah 82-5

Cal Rugby continues a perfect record in the PAC rugby conference play.

Expect a physical match today when the Bears take on the Utah Utes.
Expect a physical match today when the Bears take on the Utah Utes.
Abel Barrientes

California Golden Bears (9-1, 3-0 PAC) vs. Utah Utes (5-2, 1-0 PAC)

When: 1 pm PT

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Starting Lineup:

The Utes are not to be taken lightly. Although margin of victory is a limited indicator of how dominant a team is, the Utes defeated UCLA by a 38-0 score when the Bears only down the UC Los Angeles Bruins by a 18-12 score last week in LA.

The Daily Cal has a nice preview of this match:

"They lost a couple matches pretty big early on to really good teams, but they are a very, very different team now," Clark said. "They have their legs underneath them and got a handful of players back from injury who didn’t play in those early games. They have really honed in on this style of rugby that they’re playing. I can tell you that those big losses that they sustained earlier in the year wouldn’t happen now."

If the Bears are to emerge victorious this weekend, it’s vital that they neutralize Utah’s hard-charging attack by playing physically and defending their try zone. According to Clark, the Utes’ primary offensive strategy consists of getting the ball in the hands of their large, athletic forwards and repeatedly assaulting the goal line.

This could pose serious issues for the Bears, as they must be able to win physical battles at the goal line in order to stymie the Utah offense. Thus, it will be especially important for Cal to both tackle well and be at its best overall defensively.

Today's match also marks the celebration of homecoming for the Rugby program. The 1985 National Championship winning team will be back and be honored.

The 1985 squad won the Bears' 5th National Title at the time in a 31-6 victory over Maryland.

Check out the DailyCal digital reprint of that story here.

"We did everything we could," Maryland’s Scott Keefer said. "We played the hardest we could."

The Bears played harder. And they played better. The Terps did, however, come out strong and their smaller forward pack matched up surprisingly well with Cal’s for the first portion of the game.

"What they lacked in size, they made up in hunger," Cal forward Brian Walgenbach said.

But hunger can get you only so far when you’re playing against a squad that has not lost against a U.S. collegiate team all year.

In case you missed it (like I did), here is a cool look at the Cal-Stanford rugby game from 1912.