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Cal Rugby Tops UCLA to Win Dennis Storer Classic

Bears dominate two-day event, finishing with a 3-0 record

Cal defeated host UCLA 38-8 on Sunday to go 3-0 in the tournament and win the Dennis Storer Classic for the 16th consecutive time.

"We played some patches of skillful organized rugby today. Possibly more so than in the Saturday matches," head coach Jack Clark said. "We also had a few skill breakdowns that we will need to correct to reach our potential. It feels like the season is off and running which is good. Being on a team battling together through the challenges is a special opportunity."

UCLA took an early 8-5 lead in Sunday's match, but senior Kevin Saunders managed to punch one in during the final minute of the half to retake the lead, 14-8. It was all Bears from that point on as Cal scored four tries in the second half while keeping UCLA scoreless.

"Our intent in the second half had to be better," senior captain Sam Golla said. "I think we definitely showed improvement from start to finish which is ultimately what we want."

The Bears scored six tries against the Bruins, and seniors Nathan Zylstra and Marcus Shankland each scored twice. The other try scorers were Saunders and Nick Bloom. Max Schumacher was successful in four out of six conversion attempts.

"One of the big things for us this season is being able to identify what we need to fix as a team," Bloom said. "At halftime, we realized that we weren't executing our plan, so we took a couple of deep breaths and came together for the second half."

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Cal had begun the Dennis Storer Classic on Saturday by defeating UC Santa Cruz 29-0 and Cal Poly 33-3. Throughout the weekend's three games, 13 Bears combined to score 16 tries. 

The Bears will be back in action next weekend when they host Santa Clara on Saturday, January 22 at 1 p.m.

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Cover photo by Guy Warren Photography

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Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53

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