In a clash of two of the major contenders for the CRC, Cal defeated Arizona 26-12 in the Cup Quarterfinals.
Cal started quickly, testing the left side before sending the ball right to Danny Barrett. The power-running prop showed a nice sidestep and then took off for 40 meters. Barrett was in under the posts and Russell Webb hit the conversion to make it 7-0.
Arizona replied immediately, securing ball from the restart and, after a couple of phases, put Ryan Matyas in a little space, and he touched down next to the poles. Jack Arnold converted to tie the game 7-7.
Cal wasted no time in fashioning a response. Jake Anderson took a gap, drew his man, and offloaded perfectly to an onrushing Seamus Kelly, and the captain did the rest, galloping untouched for 50 meters. 14-7 Cal.
The Wildcats scored right from the restart, setting up on phase and passing smoothly out to Shane Carter, who just put on the gas and just escaped an ankle-tap to score in the corner. Kick no good, so Cal remained ahead, 14-12.
The half ended with all sorts of excitement. Both teams forced turnovers and got the ball to strike runners, only to see some excellent cover tackling bring the man down. The half ended 14-12, but not for lack of trying.
The restart at the beginning of the second half was a key one. Matyas seemed to lose the ball in the sun, allowing Cal to retain. A series of offloads fractured the Arizona defense, and eventually Barrett was able to just saunter over. 21-12.
Arizona needed to score then, and Brett Thompson was almost through, but his grubber kick didn't go far enough for him to mount a good chase. Cal caught a break when Kelly picked up a knocked-on ball from an offside position, and no penalty was called. But Arizona eventually muffed possession from an attacking scrum with some iffy passing. One such pass was well behind the backs, and Thompson had to run to re-gather. In doing that he appeared to injur his knee, and had to leave the field.
Meanwhile, seeing Thompson down, Barrett booted the ball downfield. The ball hit the goalpost pad, and bounced back into the field of play. Carter touched the ball down in-goal, thinking he'd get a 22 dropout. No such luck, as he actually took the ball back into his own in-goal. Cal got a scrum, and eventually sent Anderson in on the left side.
By this time, the Wildcats looked exhausted, and down 26-12 had to muster their reserves to score at least twice in about a minute. Cal had their tails up, though, and patiently closed out the game 26-12.
Tries: Barrett 2, Kelly, Anderson
Convs: Webb 3
Tries: Matyas, Carter