CAL PREVIEW: CONFERENCE PLAY UNDERWAY FOR THE WILDCATS

 

#17 Arizona @ #2 Cal

Saturday January 21

Witter Field

1:00 PM

 

 

 

 

Sean Coleman leads the Arizona forwards as they open conference play this weekend in Berkeley.

Jan 21- 17th-ranked Arizona heads west for their first road match of the year and first PAC Conference match of the season as they take on #2 Cal this weekend. Flyhalf Kyle Rogers captains the side as they look to improve to 2-0 on the season against the Bears. 

 

This week's Forwards lineup sees the return of a key front rower in Steven Branham, who starts at Prop next to Hooker Zach Biggs and Charlie Platt. At Lock, Vice Captain Sean Coleman is joined by fellow 2016 Junior All American Bronson Teles, who makes his first career start. The back row is unchanged from last week's productive group, with Ben Scoular and Tyler Hansen joined by last week's Man of the Match Ryan Fitzpatrick. "This is arguably one of the strongest groups of forwards we've assembled since I've been here" said Head Coach Sean Duffy "between our Junior All Americans players both last year and this year, and the players who got consideration in camps both in the US and abroad the past few years, it's a decorated group of hard-working guys that are really coming together well both in the starters and in the reserves." 

 

Rogers is joined once again by his brother Matt Rogers in the halfbacks with an unchanged pair in the centers as well with Shane Dempsey and Ben Joseph both slotting in. The back three sees two changes, with the return of Wing Dante Weeks and the move of Adam Wilson to the starting side after a strong performance in a bench role last week. They are joined by Ryan Hudson on the right wing, giving the Wildcats a great mix of power and pace in the backs. "Kyle's done a great job as a leader, and it's great to welcome back a guy like Dante to the team" said Coach Duffy. 

 

The return of key starters puts a number of highly talented players in the reserves, with Jake Hedge, Kurt Vecchio, Cody Hunt, Sam Peri, and Zach Heisterkamp covering the forwards. In the backs, Garrett Walker, Jeremy Fleet, and Jack San Pietro provide a number of options for the Wildcats. 

 

This weekend marks the first conference match for both teams, with Cal currently holding the conference title. The Wildcats will play an additional conference match with Stanford on Friday evening, as their Second XV gets their first match of the year against the newest members of the conference at 6:00 PM on Friday. 

 

 

Cal Lineup (click for bio)

1. Steven Branham

2. Zach Biggs

3. Charlie Platt

4. Sean Coleman

5. Bronson Teles

6. Ben Scoular

7. Ryan Fitzpatrick

8. Tyler Hansen

9. Matt Rogers

10. Kyle Rogers (C)

11. Dante Weeks

12. Shane Dempsey

13. Ben Joseph

14. Ryan Hudson

15. Adam Wilson

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16. Jake Hedge

17. Kurt Vecchio

18. Cody Hunt

19. Sam Peri

20. Zach Heisterkamp

21. Garrett Walker

22. Jeremy Fleet

23. Jack San Pietro

 

 

 

 

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