Cal’s rugby team hopes its rematch with BYU on Saturday in the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup Rugby Championships is not a re-run.
When the Bears (17-1) face the Cougars (13-0) at 2 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium outside Salt Lake City it will be the ninth time in 10 seasons the two have clashed in the national title game.
Cal has won five of the previous eight, but BYU prevailed in the past two, including a 43-33 victory in 2014. Overall, the Bears maintain a 10-3 series edge against BYU, but coach Jack Clark knows that won’t mean anything Saturday.
“They’re the defending national champions and they’re undefeated. Say no more,” Clark said. “As daunting a task as it is, we love playing BYU. They bring out the best in us, I assume because anything other than our best would result in a hiding.”
Cal has won its past 11 matches this season, including a 52-15 win over Navy in a national semifinal at Berkeley. BYU toppled Central Washington 35-8 in its semifinal.