RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. – The University of California defeated Sacramento State, 48-3, in the featured nightcap Saturday at the Kick Off Tournament.
Jack O'Beirne scored two of the Golden Bears eight tries, Brandon Kraft made 3-of-6 conversions and Andre Coquillard converted 1-of-2.
Hornets scrumhalf Chris Turner was the lone scorer for Sac State, connecting on a 15-meter penalty kick in the 59th minute. Turner missed an earlier attempt from 30 meters and the Bears were otherwise able to shut down their opponents as the temperature plummeted.
"It's great to get out there and play fluidly, but there's definitely a lot to work on," said match captain Zack Klaas. "In the second half we let off the gas a little bit but all in all, a good effort."
Scrumhalf Paul Bosco said the Bears "played to our pattern and really quickly, which is what we're aiming for this season. It was a big step forward in terms of the pace that we want to play."
The Bears hustled to the event - now in its 28th year, featuring Under-8 through high school and U-19 sides, and hosted by Sacramento Valley Youth Rugby in partnership with the Sacramento Valley High School Rugby Conference - after beating Stanford earlier in the day.
Monies generated by the KOT benefit the Sacramento Valley Rugby Foundation, which plans to develop four rugby-specific fields and a clubhouse at the former Mather Air Force Base in Rancho Cordova. The facility will support a complete program of rugby clinics, practices, matches and tournaments.
The Bears agreed to be a last-minute replacement opponent against the Hornets in Saturday night's match following the late withdrawal of UC Davis, which had originally been scheduled to face Sac State.
It was Cal's second-ever trip to the Kick Off Tournament; the Bears won 51-5 over the University of Calgary in 2009.
"It made for a long day with some logistical challenges, but we felt it was important to support the Kickoff Tournament," said head coach Jack Clark. "We are so proud of school rugby in Northern California and all the individuals who work to make elementary, middle school and high school rugby such a dynamic sport in our patch."
Clark added: "It was a special day for us. To represent Cal in the Scrum Axe match on The Farm and then to end the day at the KOT in front of such an enthusiastic audience was really fantastic for our team."
The Rugby Bears made the 150-mile roundtrip to Rancho Cordova after a 100-mile roundtrip to Stanford earlier in the day. Although the Cal lineup versus Stanford had more experienced, front-line players, the Bears officially put out two first teams on Saturday.
Cal (7-0) next travels to the desert, where it faces Arizona on Friday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. MT, followed by a meeting with Arizona State on Sunday, Feb. 5, at 1 p.m.
Tries: Hyjer, Frisinger, Bosco, Chehade, Coquillard, O’Berne 2, Coleman
Convs: Kraft 3, Coquillard
Sacramento State 3