Cal has made it to the national championship game for the sixth straight year, but the Bears needed a dramatic, last-second try to beat Saint Mary's on Saturday in the semifinals.
This Saturday, Cal takes on Life University in the national championship game at Stevens Stadium on the campus of Santa Calra University. It is a rematch of last year's title game, when Life beat Cal 60-5.
Cal easily got past UC Davis and Arizona before squeezing past Saint Mary's 28-24 in this year's postseason. Cal captain Nic Mirhashem says Bears did not play up to their potential in the first three rounds.
"I think we made more mistakes than we'd like," he said. “One thing is for sure, we did deconstruct those games and take the lessons and mistakes from them and improve week in and week out, so that was the main takeaway from those first two weeks.”
The Bears (18-1) know they need to improve their play against Life, which is unbeaten this season. The Bears have not lost to an American college team this year, so this will be a battle of rugby powers.
Cal was ranked No. 1 in the final D1A Rugby regular-season rankings and Life was No. 2, so this is the matchup that was expected.
Saturday's national championship game will be broadcast through CBS Sports and streamed on FloRugby.