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Calls to make Aust game annual event

They brought marching bands, cheerleaders and flew a combined entourage of more than 400 across the Pacific Ocean, and if California and Hawaii have their way they'll be back in Australia again.

A crowd of 61,247 turned out at Sydney's ANZ Stadium on Saturday for the first college football match in Australia since 1987, prompting calls to make it an annual event.

The three-hour-plus spectacle included the typically American kiss-cam, big hot dogs and a cannon fired after every touchdown.

And it got a fair workout, with California Golden Bears claiming a 51-31 win over the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors to open their NCAA season.

The score was locked at 14-all at the end of the first quarter before back-to-back touchdowns gave California a 27-14 lead at the main break, an advantage they didn't surrender.

California coach Sonny Dykes said the team's trip to Australia was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

"It's something we'll remember forever," he said.

"More college teams should come out in future.

"It just makes sense on so many different levels and it's such a great opportunity to experience something that's so special.

"I would anticipate this becoming an annual event."

It was far cry from college football's last foray Down Under when in 1987 fewer than 8000 people watched Brigham Young University beat Colorado State University at Melbourne's Princes Park.

The midday kick-off on Saturday allowed the match to be beamed live to US prime-time television.

Hawaii coach Nick Rolovich said he was also open to making an Australian match a regular fixture.

"It more a question for Sydney than anyone else, I don't see any negatives about it at all," he said.

Both coaches praised an enthusiastic crowd, even if the stadium DJ's choice of the John Farnham classic 'You're the Voice' raised some eyebrows.

"There's was one song I didn't recognise that everybody was singing. I'll have to get it on my iPod," Rolovich said.

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Webb carries Cal past Hawaii in college football opener
Webb carries Cal past Hawaii in college football opener
Davis Webb throws four touchdowns, on 38-of-54 passing and 441 yards in California's 51-31 win over Hawaii.

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