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D1A College Rugby 15s Championship Final instant recap: Cal 26, Life 29

This final could have gone either way with two lead changes in the last 5 minutes.

One thing that is almost certain, it will be a physical match tonight.
Cal Athletics Facebook

The two shorthanded tries by Life are probably what the Cal players will regret when they review the tape. It was an extremely even match that could have gone either way.

Congrats to Life on the victory.

Second half:

Before the final whistle - Bears actually get awarded another chance to score. Unlike last week, a ball handling mistake ends the match. Life is your 2019 D1A college rugby 15s champs despite the Bears giving them everything that they’ve got.

79th minute - A tough 22+ meter penalty kick by Sam Walsh for the tie is no good.

74th minute - Life (Mooneyham) scores a try on the corner. Tough conversion is good. Life is also back to full strength. 29-26 Life.

69th minute - Life turnover off the restart kick gives the ball to the Bears. A methodical drive with a big run by Cusano turns into another Damon Wiley try. Conversion is no good from Walsh. 4 more minutes on the Life penalty. 26-22 Cal.

65th minute - Another yellow card on Life. Cal immediately get a try (thanks to some luck off a 5-meter lineout mishap). Mirhashem with another try. Conversion is good by Sam Walsh. 22-21 Life

57th minute - Bears finally find the try zone. Set up by a Dyer run, captain Nick Mirhashem finds the try zone right underneath the goal post. Conversion is good. 22-14 Life

52nd minute - Life’s Muntanga got the try, his 2nd of the night. Conversion no good. Bears need to answer NOW. 22-7 Life.

49th minute - Cal with a methodical attack to inch the ball toward the try line but the reset (5-meter lineout) from a Life penalty goes poorly. Bears miss out on a great scoring chance.

44th minute - Penalty try awarded to Life after a number of consecutive Cal penalties both in offense (turnover) and defense. Conversion is automatic here. 17-7 Life

First half :

Life ahead 10-7 at the half

Before the half - Bears had one last chance to get the lead back, but a controversial knock-on call on the Bears end the half.

37th minute - Great opportunity for the Bears with the man advantage. Wiley came within inches of another try, but eventually the drive was halted by a knock-on call (Cal turnover). Life returns to even strength.

33rd minute - Despite a man down, Life found the try zone on the outside, set up by a great scrum push despite a man down. Conversion no good. 10-7 Life

30th minute - Damon Wiley finds the try zone, conversion good by Walsh, 7-5 Cal

26th minute - Yellow card on Life for illegal tackle, start 10 minute advantage for the Bears

6th minute - Life scores the first try, conversion no good 5-0 Life

Golden Bears vs. Running (why? when they can fly) Eagles Part II.

I previewed this match yesterday.

After the drama of last Saturday, Cal Bears will get the chance to avenge for last year’s bad result against these (almost the) same Life Eagles from Marietta, GA. It should be an exciting match with Cal Rugby’s 29th rugby 15s championship and another national title on the line.

Discuss this match in the comment section below!

I’m not sure if I’ll be watching this match near a computer to provide updates, unfortunately.

D1A Rugby 15 semifinal: Cal (18-1) vs. Life (10-0)

Where: Stevens Stadium (Santa Clara, CA)

When: 6 pm PT on Saturday, May 4th, 2019

TV: CBS Sports Network

Online: FloRugby