UPDATED: Watch the highlights below (I actually didn't realize how close Battaglia got to a go-ahead try at the end of the 1st half until I saw this).
In one nifty run through the Kutztown defense in sudden death overtime, Jake Anderson ended his collegiate career, the 2014-15 Cal rugby season, and the 2015 Collegiate Rugby Championships (CRC) tournament to give the California Golden Bears their 3rd straight rugby 7s national title.
Deservingly, Jake Anderson won the tournament MVP honor.
Jake Anderson with the well deserved MVP trophy. pic.twitter.com/gBMzBVydhi— GoldenBlogs (@GoldenBlogs) May 31, 2015
A senior laden Cal squad overcame an injury (suffered during the Varsity Cup final - the Rugby 15s championship game at the beginning of the month) to star flyback Russell Webb, who has been instrumental in the past two CRC wins. The special senior trio of Anderson, Alec Gletzer, and Andrew Battaglia each closed their storied Cal career today with pivotal contributions on all three CRC titles.
The seniors get a special send off with this win. pic.twitter.com/346ddGpuNU— GoldenBlogs (@GoldenBlogs) May 31, 2015
It was a physical and back-and-forth match between the two Golden Bears squads. Kutztown scored first but the Bears answered. Cal nearly went ahead at the closing seconds of the first half but Battaglia stepped on the line as he crossed the goal line and a try was not awarded.
With a 7-7 tie going into the second half, the Bears struck first after the intermission, scoring an unconverted try. While pushing for a second score, the Bears committed a costly turnover to allow Kutztown to equalize with a try down the corner. Fortunately, their conversion attempt was also no good. Just when regulation is about to be over, things got really physical, leading to this:
OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD https://t.co/SAiK3gTf85— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) May 31, 2015
Nevertheless, the Cal Bears survived Kutztown with possession first in the sudden victory overtime. Once the Bears got the ball pack, Jake Anderson ran free through the middle to send the Cal bench into a frenzy. California Golden Bears win a 17-12 OT decision over Kutztown, who has a bit of a home field advantage coming from about an hour north of Philadelphia.
Cal win! Three-peat complete for @CalVarsityRugby pic.twitter.com/zzimoaWWIc— GoldenBlogs (@GoldenBlogs) May 31, 2015
Congratulations to the Cal Rugby men, again with an inspired performance just when it mattered the most. Bears had breed through the quarterfinal and semifinals earlier today with a 33-0 win over Michigan and a 33-5 win over Life.
Thank you to everyone who supported the Golden Bears in the quest for a 3rd straight #CRC7s National Championship! pic.twitter.com/WyV2NKv6XL— Cal Varsity Rugby (@CalVarsityRugby) May 31, 2015