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Cal Rugby in Collegiate Rugby Championships - Championship Bracket

Golden Bears are hoping to win the CRC rugby 7s national championship for the 4th straight year.

Cal Rugby is going for a 4th consecutive rugby 7s national title today.
Cal Rugby is going for a 4th consecutive rugby 7s national title today.
Cal Rugby

Semifinal: Cal 38, Arizona 5

Now, that's more like it. Bears defeated a familiar Arizona squad 38-5 in the CRC semifinal to make an All UC final later today. UCLA squeaked past Kutztown 14-12 earlier in the first semifinal.

This match was all California. Golden Bears jump out to a quick start and never let brake in the first half. Bears were up 26-0 at the half. Even after switching out the starters to save them for the final, Bears still outscored the Wildcats 12-5 in the second half. William Fuller ends up with 3 tries on this match.

Quarterfinal: Cal 24, Arkansas State 14

If you saw the match between these two clubs yesterday, it probably does not surprise you that this quarfinal match will be exciting. The Arkansas State Red Wolves open the match with two tries and conversions. Of course, the Bear will not quit. Bears answer back immediately with an Anthony Salaber try and conversion of their own. Then, just before the half, Bears methodically set up a Jesse Milne try and conversion before the half to knot this match at 14-all at the half.

The second half started slowly, but Cal senior captain Russell Webb kicked it to another gear to rush in a try at the corner. Webb then missed his first conversion of the match from the tough angle.

Arkansas State had a good opportunity to equalize and possibly go ahead, but the Bears line stood firm. Interestingly, an Arkansas State player decided to kick the ball to Webb for the unlikely chance that Webb may fumbled it. The senior captain made him pay, rushing all the way down the other side as the time expires for a try at the other corner. Technically, Webb didn't quite get in and Kawash was credited with the try.

Unfortunately for the Bears, Harry Adolphus had to leave the match after being injured. He needed help from the trainers to get off the field. I am not sure we will see him for the rest of this championship.

Golden Bears will next face a familiar foe in Arizona in the semifinal at 11:50 AM ET. Arizona overcame Life in OT with a thrilling 17-12 result.

ROLL ON YOU BEARS!

*********

Championship Sunday is upon us. Cal Athletics got two great chances to win national championships - a 4th Rugby 7s national title (and 31st overall for Cal Rugby) and a 17th Cal Men's Crew national title (see a separate post which will appear on CGB later today).

Due to the bad weather forecast for the afternoon and evening, the CRC organizers have decided (rather late) to move up today's rugby schedule. Here is the new schedule with all times in ET.

8:00 AM

Men's Quarter Final Cup - UCLA v Penn State

8:22 AM

Men's Quarter Final Cup - Cal v Ark St

8:44 AM

Men's Quarter Final Cup - Arizona v Life

9:06 AM

Men's Quarter Final Cup - Kutztown v Dartmouth

9:28 AM

Men's Plate Quarterfinal - Saint Joseph’s v South Carolina

9:48 AM

Men's Plate Quarterfinals - Utah v Notre Dame

10:08 AM

Mens Bowl Semi-Final

10:28 AM

Mens Bowl Semi-Final

10:48 AM

Womens Semi-Final - Life v Navy

11:08 AM

Womens Semi-Final - Penn State v Lindenwood

11:28 AM

Cup Semi 1

11:50 AM

Cup Semi 2

12:12 PM

NSCRO Final

12:32 PM

Philly Div Final

12:52 PM

Women's Final

1:14 PM

Final Plate

1:39 PM

Cup Final (30 minutes)

The TV schedule for today will remain the same, meaning that NBC Sports Network and NBC will do what they do best for the Olympics...and show the contests via tape delay. This also means that I will unfortunately be spoiling the results via Twitter.

DATE COVERAGE TIME (ET) NETWORK
Sat., June 4 Rugby Rising 1 p.m. NBCSN
Pool Play 2-4 p.m. NBCSN, Live Extra
Pool Play 4-6 p.m. NBC, Live Extra
Sun., June 5 Rugby Rising (Encore) 1 p.m. NBCSN
Playoff Rounds 2-4 p.m. NBCSN, Live Extra
Playoff Rounds 4-6 p.m. NBC, Live Extra

Anyhow, on to today's championship bracket AKA "Cup" bracket.

Golden Bears will open today's play with a rematch against those pesky Arkansas State Red Wolves. The late Red Wolves runs in that match and the fact that UCLA got a favorable draw and rolled over their opponents (to their credit, the UCLA fan contingent at the CRC this year is quite impressive) meant that the Bears' point differential of 84 points is only good for the 2nd seed behind UCLA's 88 points differential.

Should the Bears advance past the quarterfinal, they will (likely) play the winner of 3rd seed Arizona and rugby powerhouse Life in the semifinal. Bears beat Life for their first ever CRC title 3 years ago.

The other Golden Bears of the tournament, those from Kutztown who have faced the Bears in the final for the past two years, is on the other side of the bracket. Kutztown plays two-time CRC winner Dartmouth in the last quarterfinals.

It should be a fun day of rugby. The Golden Bears are 3 wins away from a four-peat and a double (winning both the 15s national championship at the Varsity Cup and also this 7s national championship at the Collegiate Rugby Championships).

GO BEARS!