Cal defeats Kutztown to win collegiate rugby championship

RON CORTES / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Kutztown's Mike Lawrence ball during line-out toss intended for Cal's Brad Harrington.
RON CORTES / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Kutztown's Mike Lawrence ball during line-out toss intended for Cal's Brad Harrington.
Posted: June 03, 2014

WITH 2 minutes left in the Collegiate Rugby Championship against Kutztown, California had hit a snag in its plan.

Following a scrum near the try-zone, Jake Anderson got caught in the center of the field between several defenders. Frantic, he found Patrick Barrientes streaking down the left touch line and lobbed a skip pass 10 meters to his teammate across the grass.

Barrientes received it with a Kutztown defender in front of him and leapt 5 meters from the emerald pitch. When he came back to earth, Cal had scored and finally put the contest out of reach. Barrientes was beaming as he lifted his brown mane from the pitch following the try.

Cal ran past Kutztown, 24-14, to win it's second consecutive Peter Dawkins Championship behind the roar of 7,912 fans at PPL Park yesterday afternoon in Chester.

Barrientes said he had to "use the time to his advantage" and it wasn't just his leap of faith that won the game, but rather a "total team effort."

"When the line is that close you have to do anything to get it over," said the sophomore flyhalf from Davis, Calif. "It was a big team effort for a six-game tournament to win the championship. It takes the whole team and competing everyday."

After losing to BYU in the Varsity Cup in early May, the Golden Bears won six straight games at PPL Park, outscoring their opponents 189-55 along the way. Cal finishes the season 24-3 while Kutztown lost their second game of the year, dropping to 40-2.

Jack Clark, the head coach of Cal told his boys to "just get to halftime" when it came to dealing with a physical Kutztown team.

"Sevens tournaments are a bit of a lottery, it's hard to plan for victory, you need to get a little bit lucky," Clark said. "We're really pleased to win. We knew we'd be one of the better teams but congratulations to [Kutztown], we have a lot of respect for their rugby program."

And with three local colleges playing in the finals of four titles at PPL Park, Clark said that Philly's rugby scene is about to have a resurrection.

"We love coming to Philly," Clark said. "We love the city and we are treated really well here and it's really a pleasure to come here every year."

Notes

After dropping three games in pool play (Dartmouth 21-5, Notre Dame 29-21 and Kutztown 47-5) Saint Joseph's redeemed itself yesterday, thumping Drexel 17-5 and beating Notre Dame in the Bowl Final of the Collegiate Rugby Championships, 17-15 . . . Temple lost to California 36-14 on Friday, 19-5 against Maryland and 12-7 in a close one Saturday to finish pool play. But after dropping three straight, the Owls turned it around yesterday and beat Penn 21-12 and Texas 17-12 to win the Shield Final. Both teams finished 2-3 during the weekend invitational . . . Penn State's women's sevens team won the Collegiate Rugby Championship with a 29-12 win over James Madison yesterday afternoon


On Twitter: @TylerRickyTynes

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