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University of Arizona Rugby Men E1881634

Ben Scoular put in an excellent weekend to help the Cats to a strong first showing. (Photo credits: Alex Ho) 

Oct 23- Arizona Sevens continued their preseason this past weekend, traveling to San Francisco for the first of two tournaments in the Bay Area. The two-day event showcased a great step forward for the program, with both youngsters and veterans putting in strong performances.


The Wildcats opened their account with a pool play match against Stanford, naming a number of young players to a lineup that did not disappoint. Scrumhalf Brendon Paulsen continued his strong preseason, touching down in the first and fifth minutes while converting five conversions. The 26-0 halftime lead on the back of Paulsen's double, Ben Scoular's try, and Robert Figley's score was added to by Will McCausland, Matthew Start, and Maxime Cathala in the victory. Final score: Arizona 45-0 Stanford

In match two, Arizona continued to blend their lineup against San Diego State, showing the great depth that they have built in the last few years. Tries from Paulsen, McCausland, and standout Sophomore Jack McCrossin set the 15-0 halftime lead before Cathala, Paulsen, and veteran Matt Rogers sealed the win and the 2-0 record in pool play. Final score: Arizona 32-0 San Diego State

To finish the day, the Wildcats took on Cal Maritime, with Pool C on the line after CMU's 2-0 record. Arizona jumped to an early lead, as Jon Rogers touched down twice in the first three minutes to go along with a Riley Kerr try and a Scoular score to make it 24-0 at halftime. Scores from Joe Sargeant (2), Matt Rogers, and Cathala rounded out their most complete victory of the day and sealed both the pool victory and a spot in the Cup Quarterfinal for the fourth straight year at Treasure Island, while outscoring opponents 129-0. Final score: Arizona 52-0 Cal Maritime


Arizona headed in to Sunday with great momentum, and this continued in their Cup Quarterfinal against Santa Clara, with Ben Scoular's hat-trick one of the weekend's top performances. Riley Kerr's try and some lockdown defense punched the Wildcats' ticket to the Cup Semifinal in the victory. Final score: Arizona 24-5 Santa Clara

In a much-anticipated match, Arizona took on last year's PAC-12 Sevens Champion Cal. Unlike their past matches, it was not the Wildcats scoring first, as the Bears jumped to a 5-0 lead before Matthew Start responded at the stroke of halftime to make it 7-5. At the half, Captain Ben Scoular took control, setting the tone and spearheading a renewed level of effort that saw the Wildcats shut out Cal 14-0 to take a 21-5 lead, allowing a try on the final play of the match but securing a spot in the final. Tries from Start and Matt Rogers led the way, and the Wildcats defeated Cal for the first time since their PAC-12 Sevens title in 2018. Final Score: Arizona 21-10 Cal

In their first Treasure Island Cup Final since 2017, the Wildcats met another PAC-12 foe, UCLA. Making a point of starting well, Arizona did just that, stealing a kickoff and putting Scoular in to the corner for a try that Kerr quickly followed up to make it 10-0. A Bruins try on the stroke of halftime allowed UCLA back in the game, setting up a tense second half. A 9th minute UCLA try made it 14-10 before an 11th minute try from Paulsen set up by Start made it 17-14 with one minute left. Looking to have the game in hand, a controversial penalty against the Wildcats awarded UCLA one final possession, and the chance to steal the game, scoring just as time expired to win 19-17 in another classic PAC-12 match. The result continues the Wildcats' strong form at the event, having finished no lower than 3rd each of the past four seasons. Final score: Arizona 17-19 UCLA

Despite the gutting loss, Director of Rugby Sean Duffy pointed to the many positives from the weekend, and the need to finish every game. "We made some good steps forward this weekend, both as a program and in our player development. But we need to finish games, play the whole 14, and not put the game in the hands of a referee. While I felt we were hard-done by, it's on us to not put ourselves in that situation. Credit to UCLA and we hope to see them again in a few weeks."

That event in a few weeks is the PAC Rugby Sevens Championship, with nine PAC-12 universities set to descend on Stanford University for a nationally televised showcase. The Wildcats have reached the Cup final of the event each of the past two seasons, including 2018's victory over Cal in their first title. PAC-12 Network is set to once again provide coverage for the event as the Wildcats aim to win their second crown in three seasons.

Game 1 vs Stanford

Tries: Paulsen (2), Scoular, Figley, McCausland, Start, Cathala

Conv: Paulsen- 5/7

Game 2 vs San Diego State

Tries: Paulsen (2), McCrossin, McCausland, M. Rogers, Cathala

Conv: M. Rogers- 1/3, J. Rogers- 0/2, Paulsen- 0/1

Game 3 vs Cal Maritime

Tries: J. Rogers (2), Sargeant (2), Scoular, Kerr, M. Rogers, Cathala

Conv: M. Rogers- 3/5, Paulsen- 3/3

Cup Quarterfinal vs Santa Clara

Tries: Scoular (3), Kerr

Conv: M. Rogers- 2/4

Cup Semifinal vs Cal

Tries: Start (2), M. Rogers

Conv: M. Rogers- 2/2, J. Rogers- 1/1

Cup Final vs UCLA

Tries: Scoular, Kerr, Paulsen

Conv: Paulsen- 1/1, J. Rogers- 0/2

West Coast Sevens Roster

-Cathala, Maxime

-Figley, Robert

-Kerr, Riley

-Heisterkamp, Zach

-McCausland, Will

-McCrossin, Jack

-Paulsen, Brendon

-Rogers, Jon

-Rogers, Matt

-Sargeant, Joe

-Scoular, Ben (C)

-Start, Matthew



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