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Published May 2nd, 2018
Cal Rugby returns to SMC to face Linwood
Justin Dunn Photo Alex Ho

Playing in front of a loud and raucous crowd at Saint Mary's College last Saturday, the University of California clearly outplayed Linwood University in a D1A semi-final game winning by a final score of 43-22.
For California and Lindenwood, this was a "road" game. Originally scheduled to be played in Marietta, Georgia, Cal only had to travel 15 miles to Moraga while Lindenwood (St. Charles, Missouri) travelled 2,021 miles to St. Mary's. California head coach Jack Clark had no complaints. Said Clark: "Our schedule had changed a bit. We did not have to fly out on Thursday and lose a day."
Explained D1A Commissioner Kevin Battle: "It's important that we do what's best for the growth of the college game. Crossing the country with five days' notice is financially prohibitive." Added executive committee chairman Paul Keeler, "It is important for us to maximize exposure and support the teams, to support the game. Having teams compete regionally helps achieve that goal and helps manage costs to our members."
Cal saved $40,000 by avoiding the trip to Georgia and helped Lindenwood with the cost of their travel.
California has three seniors from Lamorinda on their roster: wing Justin Dunn from Campolindo and flyhalf Jamie Howells and Wing William Fuller, both from Miramonte.
With Cal ahead 24-14 at the half, Dunn outleaped a Lindenwood player on a kick down the field giving Cal possession, leading to the first score in the second half. Nine minutes later, Dunn sprinted down the left sideline to score for the second time to put Cal ahead 38-17, clinching the victory for Cal.
The last time Cal had play in Moraga, they had lost to Saint Mary's 21-12. Dunn said that inspired the team today: "We did not want to lose again on this field. The key to the game was that, though we made some mistakes, we did not have any turnovers."
Dunn, a business administration major, was recruited to play football at California and only began playing rugby in college. He will continue to play rugby in graduate school: "I will be going to study at Oxford next year and will be playing rugby there as well."
California will be playing in Santa Clara next Saturday against Life University who defeated Penn State in their semifinal game. Life University will be traveling 2,474 miles from their campus in Marietta, Georgia. They probably find little comfort that California will be traveling three times as far as they did getting to Moraga, 45 long miles. Hopefully the traffic will be light.

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