Wednesday, March 01, 2006




Pacific Coast referee chairman Mark Ormsby announced the promotion of Pete Smith to B2 last week.

Congratulations to Pete, who is flying into the thin air. There have probably been fewer than ten NorCal refs ever make it to B2.


More good news! The Referee Development Committee of the NCRRS has recognized Bo Rodman as a C2 ref, based on recent performance.


We stopped and thought the other day, in response to a comment by Joe Leisek.

Since last year, the Pelican Society lost three stalwarts: Ed Todd, Peter Hansford, and Steve Hawker. Each of these gentlemen did a LOT of work for the society and covered a lot of games.

There are any number of USA societies that would have nothing left after the departure of three such worker bees.

No offense to these dear friends, but we haven’t missed a beat.

We stopped and thought today when we looked at the list of our referees who are currently injured and can’t do games: Scott Wood, Tony Latu, Chris Parkhouse, Sam Davis, Paul Berman, Ray Schwartz, and soon when he undergoes surgery, Dave Pope.

No offense to these folks, all of whom we wish a speedy recovery, but we appear to be capable of covering our responsibilities through the dedication of all of our other members.

How many referee societies could lose seven dedicated, week in-week out refs, and still function?

We are so lucky!


A Level 1 Referee Course will be conducted Sunday, March 12, 2006, at the Bay Club in San Francisco. The course begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. The course fee is $75. Prospective students should read all the requirements for the course posted on the USARRA website, Prospective students also are requested to register for the course no later than February 26, 2006. The lead instructor for the course and with whom registration should be accomplished is Michael Malone,; (415) 472-2091.


Well, almost nobody.

Very few people have registered for the conference we will be offering around the Churchill Cup, Rugby
Through the Looking Glass, June 8-9.

This is especially disappointing in terms of NCRRS members. We need to project attendance for several reasons, most of which have financial implications.

Any society member who has refereed five or more assigned games (the same standard we use for paying for referee training courses) does not have to pay any registration fee at all. But they still need to register!

Please take a moment to visit our website and register:


High school rugby is one of many jewels in the crown of the Northern California RFU; one of the bright, shining facets that attracts attention and inspires covetousness.

If our readers are keen, they can easily double the number of games they would normally do in a season. It is not unheard of for a referee to do three high school games a week and an adult or college match on Saturday afternoon.

They can also referee several of the best teams and programs in the USA, and see some of the lovely corners of our game, by traveling to do these fixtures.

Most of the high school conferences have a coordinator who would be happy to hear from you if you’d like to work some of these games.

Redwood: Joe Leisek

Sacramento Valley: Ray Thompson

Skyhawk: Pete Smith

The Bay Conference does have a coordinator. The best we can advise is that you contact someone affiliated with one of the teams if you would like a match.

Below is a list of scheduled matches for the upcoming week, the first week of March, 2006. Note that this does not include non-varsity games, of which there are many: some teams have three and four sides.


Montgomery – Santa Rosa

Elsie Allen – Windburg (Windsor/Healdsburg)

Rancho Cotate – Sonoma

Del Oro – Christian Brothers

Jesuit II- Islanders

Davis – Jesuit I

Vacaville – Mother Lode

Rio Rugby – Rio Linda

Friday or Saturday

Peninsula Green – College Park

Los AltosEast Palo Alto

Aptos – Silicon Valley

Valley Christian – Live Oak


SF Golden Gate – De La Salle

Piedmont – Hayward

Marin – Lamorinda

Alameda – Lamorinda B

Antioch – Tri-Valley

Berkeley – Oakland Military Institute


Christian Brothers – Cougars


Del Oro – Jesuit I

Jesuit II – Rio Linda

Mother Lode – Rio Rugby

And this just in: what should be a very good inter-conference game has just been added to the schedule for Saturday night, March 4: Elsie Allen hosting Live Oak. Let us know if you would be available for this match.


Rugby under the lights returns to Kezar Stadium in San Francisco this Thursday evening.

At 7:30 PM, the Olympic Club will take on the current Super League champions, the New York Athletic Club.
Paul Bretz will referee this one. Touch judges will be Jon Moore, visiting from
Utah, and Bruce Carter.

So often we referees have to miss the best games because we are working other matches. Not this evening – there aren’t any other games to referee.

Remember the Kezar games we used to have regularly in the early nineties? Come revive and relive those fond memories!

Especially if you work in San Francisco or commute through it, take a detour and be a fan!


Wed 22, 2:00 PM

CHICO STATE women 54 – Univ. of Ottawa 0 Referee: Kat Todd-Schwartz

I traveled up to Chico for the second time in four days; this time was much nicer (and no cold, white precipitation fell). Also, as I was there mid-week, I barely recognized the campus. There were STUDENTS who appeared to be going to and from classes. It seemed that the rumor is true! Chico State is actually a school!

The University of Ottawa women were in town for their Reading Week; Lois reported on their game versus Cal on Monday. They were to play UC Davis as well, but their late arrival due to inclement weather messed with the scheduling. The women traveled to Chico for a Wednesday afternoon match. The first half was not very pretty; the U of O women looked like they had not played in, oh, say about four months. The backs received and passed the ball while standing still. However, their game improved in the second half. While the second half seemed closer in terms of possession, Chico still scored another 4 tries and their kicker,#9, converted all her kicks. Final score was 54 to 0. Chico was pleased as they had not fared so well during their tournament on the weekend (including in the boat races after).

In the post game pizza social, Chico dazzled the U of O women with their singing talents; the Canadian girls seemed somewhat 'culture' shocked. I was pleased to be presented with Canadian maple syrup, which my primate half quickly squirreled away once I got home.

Thursday, 7:30 PM

U. of the Pacific 15 – UC SANTA CRUZ 64 Referee: Tony Latu

Santa Cruz traveled to UOP-Stockton on Thursday Night. The game started at 7:30, and both teams wore black. Last time I reffed a night game at UOP, one team had dark blue and UOP---black. I think they are testing my eye sight.

UOP were in control in the first ten minutes. They were led by a flyhalf from a southern hemisphere. rugby nation. No name nor country mentioned, since he's on a scholarship playing another sport. But his love for rugby draws him to the game.

S-Cruz woke up and opened the gates, both backs and forward.

Friday, 7:00 PM

MARITIME ACADEMY 44 – U. of San Francisco 5 Referee: Bo Rodman

Coach: David Williamson

Cal Maritime hosted USF on a cool Friday evening under the lights, prevailing 44-5.

CM scored tries from two scrums, two penalty plays, a maul, a ruck, and two open plays. USF's stalwart play was highlighted by its scrumhalf, who took many quick penalty taps twenty or more yards upfield. USF scored its try 10 minutes into the second half from a lineout.

4:00 PM

SF/Golden Gate 17 – CHICAGO LIONS 38 Referee: Bruce Carter

Evaluator: Matt Eason

This was probably the best performance of Golden Gate’s first division team so far this season. Some Saturdays playing like this and they won’t be in the cellar for long.

The Lions spent a few days training in the Bay Area for the second year in a row. Although completely out of season, they synchronized well from the opening kickoff and scored a multi-phase try in the second minute.

Eagle Phillip Eloff may be their best-known player, but several of the backs and the second row are all big line-breakers. They broke the line for four tries in the first half, while Gate were denied a couple of tries by timing errors in attack near the try line. It was 24 – 3 to the visitors at the half.

An accident on the Bay Bridge denied the home XV the services of some of their first-choice players until after the game was in progress, and the second half was a different story.

The Chicago hooker, a very useful player, had asked the referee how much time was left after sixteen minutes (of the FIRST half) had been played. Perhaps because the Lions weren’t in game shape or because it took the Gate players a while to transition from what was otherwise a workday, things evened out.

Each team scored fourteen points in the second half, and each team had one try well worth describing.

The Chicago #1 was tackled north-south an inch shorter of the try line than his arms were long. He was wise enough not to stretch for it, but placed the ball to his immediate right.

His teammate Eloff, trailing along on his right hip in a low crouch, picked the ball up the instant it was placed and then fell forward across the line. This was done so seamlessly that non-disingenuous Golden Gate players called for the infamous, “Double movement!”

The referee indicated the tackled player – #1 – and the try-scoring player - #13 – and indeed it was two different people having moved in tandem, the symbol of a team.

Golden Gate had been threatening at the Lion’s end for several powerful passages. In one particularly contested maul the SF/GG #8 Van Aarde Pretorius appears to have dislocated his right shoulder.

He was checked out by the referee, who pronounced the shoulder as no longer being dislocated. The Chicago Lion’s trainer, not being aware of the referee’s qualifications in this regard, also rendered his opinion that the shoulder had spontaneously reduced itself and that the player might elect to continue playing; it was up to him.

Pretorius went through characteristic contortions and grimaces for this sort of injury and then bravely elected to go once more into the breach.

It was a five-meter scrum to his team. They won the hook, wheeled with the head and he, bad shoulder and all, scored a lovely try through two defenders.


Super League Pre-Season Matchup:

3:00 PM SF/GOLDEN GATE 16 – Chicago Lions 13 Referee: Pete Smith

Saturday I was treated to one of the most challenging matches I have had in my refereeing career both on paper and in substance. Chicago Lions have been in San Francisco for the past few days practicing and playing SFGG. They played against SFGG’s D1 team Friday night (see Bruce’s report) and SFGG’s SL team on Saturday. As much as Chicago claims to have spilt the squad evenly, Saturday’s team was missing but a few of their top players.

The game was tight in every sense of the word. The players played in tight with both teams mauling (primarily SFGG, but Chicago could drive when they needed), pick and driving and crashing inside. Both teams played a furious pace throughout with fitness not seemingly an issue for either side. SFGG scored first on a penalty kick from Grant Wells, only to have Chicago answer with one of their own. SFGG scored a try from advantage on a great run and recycle to score under the post only to have Chicago score a try on a great (one of the best I have seen) run/charge down, advantage from high tackle to likewise dot down at the posts. Just before halftime, SFGG nudged a little kick ahead with the winger bearing down on the Chicago player meters from the Chicago goal line. I’m thinking, if the Chicago player does not release, I have to go penalty try, but the SFGG winger goes off his feet onto the player on the ground almost instantly and I award the penalty to Chicago. They kick to touch with the score tied at 10 at halftime.

As much as the first half had it share of confrontations, the second half seemed to turn up the heat even more. The rucking from both teams was prevalent throughout and from what I saw all within the laws with one exception. Several Chicago and SFGG players wound up with nicks and cuts with most notably Tony Vontz taking a deep cut over his eye on some off the ball foul play. Unfortunately, I was watching play and neither my TJ nor I saw what had happened to Mr. Vontz. At this point it seemed as though the game was about to become something other than rugby. Despite not being able to positively identify the culprit that injured the SFGG captain, I needed to re-take control of the situation and use the tools that I have been taught to this point. After consulting with my tough judge at length, I called the Chicago captain and SFGG vice captain over (away from the sidelines and other players) and admitted that I had not seen the foul play nor had my TJ’s. I told that I was disappointed that the game was been played the last few phases seemingly with more attention to cheating and less to their gifted abilities. The captains talked calmly to each other (which can backfire, but the mutual respect that these two had for each other carried the moment) and they agreed that this was about rugby and not squaring things up. I allowed them time to address their teams and when everyone was ready, I restarted the game.

The next few minutes went well until at 9:48 by my watch the recently substituted 2nd row for Chicago decided to use his boots in a stomping manner on a player not close enough to the ball to be excusable making him culpable on either front, so out came the yellow card. SFGG were up 13-10 at the time and Chicago drew the penalty just meters from the SFGG try line. Playing 14 against 15 for the final 9:48 didn’t help Chicago’s chances, but with 5:40 left in the game, Chicago’s kicker nailed a 40 meter penalty goal to tie the game at 13 and it was all out from there. SFGG missed their first shot at taking the lead with a penalty about 22 meters out in front as recently substituted John Kennard missed the kick before he had a chance to break a sweat.
However a high tackle on the SFGG wing at full time 15 meters in front of the right post was all Kennard needed to slot the game winner at the final whistle-SFGG 16-13 over

DIABLO GAELS 38 – Olympic Club 17 Referee: Joe Leisek

Evaluator: Bryan Porter

Diablo Valley College, Concord

Arriving at DVC on a brilliantly sunny, warm day, I was welcomed by the host side with directions to the locker room. Nice. DVC's soccer field was beautifully marked for rugby. Looked across the pitch, which seemed wide. Bryan Porter paced it, estimating about 90 yards. Thus the game was played in expansive fashion, with lots of opportunities for scrumhalves and flyhalfs to skip at least one player with long torpedo passes.

This game was intense and furious. It felt like playoff-style determination on the field. O-Club, captained by Andrew Armstrong, had the better of the first half, with skilled flyhalf James Brandon directing the attack. Both teams scored a converted try in the half, with O-Club also kicking a penalty goal late in the half to take the lead. Throughout the match the O-Club forwards drove the a fan of the game, it was great to see No. 8 Chris Clever on the pick-and-go and Eagle lock Carl Hansen dragging two and three defenders several meters downfield.

The second half started at an incredible pace. Within about three minutes, three tries were scored: two by the Gaels and one by the O-Club. The Gaels eventually pulled away with a display of confident attacking and stout defense. One player who stood out for the home side seemed maybe a little older than the rest, but had an excellent half of rugby at flyhalf. A post-game conversation left me curious; later I realized he was Vaea Anitoni. The former Eagle put his mark on the second half by scoring a try and ending the game with a gracefully executed drop kick from about 25 meters.

A wonderful day.

Seconds: Diablo Gaels 17 – OLYMPIC CLUB 51 Referee: Sam Reagle

Conditions: Perfect

OC only brought about 25 guys total so several had to do double duty from the A game. The first 2 scores of the game were penalty kicks. Not a good start, in my opinion, for Division 1 teams, but things settled down and the game opened up. The two packs were comparable, but OC's back line seemed too much for the Gaels to handle as they repeatedly broke tackles and scampered on long runs. By halftime, OC had controlled things pretty well and owned a 32-5 score.

However, the second half was much better for the Gaels. They were playing more cohesively, scoring 2 more tries while giving up 3 to the visitors. During the last 10+ minutes of the game when I have seen fatigue become stupidity elsewhere, these 2 teams played some of their best rugby, each scoring a try without committing a single penalty.

On another note, there was a first for me. I threw my first spectator out of the enclosure. It wasn't my original intent, but it felt so natural after hearing her say: "YOU CAN'T THROW ME OUT, I'M A SPECTATOR."

San Mateo – West Sac Referee: David Pope

No report received. Please send in the score if you know it, so we can calculate the standing.

Seconds: San Mateo – West Sac NOT PLAYED

HAYWARD 42 – Seahawks 20 Referee: Tony Latu

Touch Judges: Giles Wilson, Tom Phillips

There was lots of rugby on Saturday in Hayward. First high school, then men, then U-14 and then another men’s game.

But now to the game of the day. Hayward is trying to stay with San Mateo, and S-Jose is still in the playoff picture.

Seahawks controlled the first half with their quick tap and quick line out. Their backs shut down the attacking backs of Hayward. At the break Seahawks were leading 20-14.

But at the half Hayward changed their flyhalf and outside center. And they started to take control of the game. Seahawks only managed to score one try in the second half. The final score, Hayward-42, Seahawks-20.

Thanks to Giles and Tom from the Seahawks for running touch. Great food at the Why Not in Hayward.

Seconds: HAYWARD 44 – Seahawks 24 Referee: Giles Wilson

Hayward dominated the first half with some more of their young players combining with some very good older guys running in 6 unconverted tries to one converted try for San Jose. The second half was a little different, San Jose scored 3 tries (one converted) to two from Hayward (both converted by Timo); but Hayward didn’t score until the 23rd minute – perhaps the temperature drop as the sun set slowed them down.

Final Hayward 44 to San Jose 24 – credit to both clubs for having sufficient players to play two full games with (mostly) different players

BARACUS 13 – Sacramento 9 Referee: Kat Todd-Schwartz

Evaluator: Dixon Smith

Polo Fields, SF

This was a fairly close and exciting match. The first half was marred by Baracus penalties around the ruck (primarily late poaching attempts) which was eventually sorted out by a yellow card for repeat infringements. The score was 9-0 for Sacramento at the half (three penalty kicks). Baracus was able to focus and improve discipline for a come back in the second half. Baracus converted a try and scored another penalty kick, placing the score at 10-9 for Baracus. There was a Sacto send off for foul play. Baracus later attempted a drop goal unsuccessfully, followed by another successful attempt in the last minute of the game. Final score was 13-9 for Baracus. The Baracus captain called me Lois half way through the game. The calendar was at approximately 149 days since anyone called me Lois; I guess it restarts again. Maybe its time for another education session on the different species of female Pelicus within our society?!

Seconds: Baracus 21 – SACRAMENTO 36 Referee: Bo Rodman

Polo Field

A great sunny day in the city. The second-side match was evenly contested in the first half with the visitors ahead 17 - 14. Baracus was not able to capitalize on several large gains due to late breakdowns. "Luckily" we seemed to have 31 referees on the field so the appointed referee had plenty of help in making the correct calls. Boys, when you are playing well and in the lead on the road, don't try to "help" the referee so much...

The second half quieted down and Sacramento was able to use advantage to several long scores. The final was 36-21.

SANTA ROSA 31– Fresno 24 Referee: Bryant Byrnes

Goff on Rugby said this was a game to watch, with Fresno 3-0 in league play and Rosa 2-0-1. It was more – it was a blockbuster.

Warmed up and focused, Rosa put it in goal for a try almost immediately and dominated the first half 22-10. Shaking off the jet lag, Fresno put the hammer down in the second half and with a late try and conversion was within 4 points with a minute left. Alas; not enough time.

The rubber match in Fresno-probably for the league championship-is to be anticipated.

Seconds: Santa Rosa 12 – FRESNO 41 Ref: Byrnes

Humboldt 16 – APTOS 17 Referee: Aruna Ranaweera

Aptos only had 14 players and no trained front row, but Humboldt graciously decided to play the match with uncontested scrums and without forfeit.

The match was sloppy at times with a lot of rookie players on both teams. Even then, rugby was played with much enthusiasm and the game was exciting right to the end.

Aptos led 10-3 at the half thanks to some quickly recycled ball out wide. As some of Humboldt's key players arrived (late) at the field, the home team was able to step up and tie the score 10-10 midway through the 2nd half. Soon after, a bizarre spectator incident occurred.

After the whistle was blown for a knock on off a lineout, one of the Humboldt players emerged bleeding and alleged that he had been elbowed away from the ball by an Aptos player. Both players were held back by their teammates (near the sideline), but before play could resume, an elderly spectator stepped into the field and hit the Aptos player. Turns out the elderly person was the Humboldt player's father! Order was quickly restored (the spectator was asked to leave the field) and play continued without further incident.

Humboldt kicked two more penalties to lead 16-10 with 4 minutes to play, but they then had a defensive lapse: the Aptos Number eight picked up the ball at the base of the scum and ran in untouched for a 35 meter solo try. Aptos converted to lead 17-16.

Humboldt almost scored during the last minutes, but a turnover ended the match.

Soon after, players from both teams met up at the Humboldt Brewery for a hearty celebration of a closely contested match.

BERKELEY 60 – Chico 5 Referee: John Pohlman

Berkeley RFC hosted Chico at Treasure Island. Kick-off was at 1:15 due to an accident on the Bay Bridge which caused many of the Chico players to arrive late. Berkeley had close to thirty players dressed and ready to go.

Chico started with thirteen players. The last car load arrived 10 minutes into the game.

Berkeley started fast, controlling most of the ball. Winger Seb Vicuna scored three minutes into the game. Flanker Juan Hernandez followed with another try at 12 minutes.

Chico now with a full squad started to control more ball and looked to be getting back into the game. But the Berkeley tackling was to strong and created a couple of turn overs. Juan intercepted a pass ran 40 meters and offloaded to Seb for his second try. One minute later the other winger Dave Sally got into the try zone. Berkeley's final first half score saw center Roberto Barrueto break a couple of tackles.

The second half started with some strong forward tackling. Chico picking and driving down the field only to have a turnover turn into Berkeley points. Berkeley scored another 5 tries in the second half.

At 36 minutes Chico's Arthur Confint intercepted a pass and ran close to 60 meters for Chico.

Last week I was supposed to do the Humboldt – Monterey game but Monterey was unable to travel. The Chico coach John asked if there was any chance of making division III a north and south league. With the driving necessary it maybe a good idea.

MISSION 46 – Petaluma 0 Referee: Sandy Robertson

Mission ran in 7 tries to score a convincing win. They had several players able to break defensive lines, some with power, some with guile, and some with well-placed kicks.

REDDING by forfeit over Monterey

VACAVILLE 32 – Fog 12 Referee: Chris Parkhouse

15 minutes into this game on a very hard uneven field with Vacaville leading Fog 8 - 0, I sustained a tear to my gastrocnemius muscle and was unable to continue. I stayed for the whole match but had no mobility and limited visibility as a result. The teams agreed to continue with each team refereeing one half of the game. The game was taken over in the first half by Sean Dmyterk, the coach of the Fog. I felt all in all he did a pretty fair and consistent job. At the end of the half the score was Vacaville 15 Fog 7.

The second half referee came from Vacaville - Matt Hefner. He is not certified and had only done some High School games previously. There were some altercations and one player reportedly had to go to hospital. Game ended Vacaville 32 Fog 12.

RENO 35 – Stanislaus 14 Referee: Dylan Gill

St. Mary's 7 – CALIFORNIA 40 Referee: Jim Crenshaw

Evaluator: Mike Malone

Scott Wood picked me up at 10:30 Saturday morning and we headed off to Moraga under blue skies and plenty of sunshine. The Cal bus was already empty when we arrived at St Mary's College at a couple minutes to noon.

It was great to see a number of old friends before the match that, it seems, we never get to a chance to see often enough. Among them was Ed Todd, the new head of referee development for USA Rugby and Mike Malone, who was kind enough to drive over from Marin to give me some excellent feed back and coaching after the match.

This game was billed as the battle for first place in college men's D-1 and by 12:30 there were no parking spots left in any of the parking lots. The field was completely surrounded by spectators by game time and all of the four small stands were packed.

St. Mary's kicked off promptly at 1:00 and the battle began. For the first 20 minutes both teams were playing pretty evenly as first one would control the offense, lose the ball and then the other would counter. Slowly the amount and time of possession shifted to Cal, putting St. Mary's more and more into a defensive mode. This paid off for Cal in the 26th minute with a converted try. Both teams continued at a pace that is best described as frenetic, but with Cal providing the lion's share of the offense and St Mary's fending them off. In the 36th minute Cal score an unconverted try. The half ended with score Cal 12 St. Mary's 0.

The second half began at the same amazing pace and with Cal controlling most of the offense and St. Mary's playing a very tenacious defense. Cal scored a converted try at the 9th, 12th and 21st minutes to take a commanding lead at a little past half way through the half. St. Mary's seemed to start playing offense with a little more cohesiveness and were rewarded with a converted try in the 24th minute. Both teams kept battling for the rest of the half, but neither could manage to get into to the other's goal until the last few seconds of the match when Cal broke free and scored a converted try.

Final score UC Berkeley 40 St. Mary's 7

Many thanks to Ed Todd, Mike Malone, Scott Wood and Lois Bukowski for all the help they provided

Additional report:

Spectator-looking-for-four-leaf-clover #1: Scott Wood

SMC shut Cal down for 27 minutes. The first try scored as SMC was short-handed while an injured player was being rebuilt to return to the field. A second Cal try finished the half 12-0. Cal scored three more times before the Gael's flyhalf popped a Garryowen and eluded Cal defenders to score at the 66th minute. A try in injury time finished the match with Cal up 40-7.

Seconds: St. Mary's 7 – CALIFORNIA 100 Referee: Lois Bukowski

Spectator-looking-for-dandelions #1: S. Wood

Cal scored 66 in the first half. The final whistle was blown after Cal's missed conversion. St. Mary's fought hard the entire match but lost the battle of fitness and elusive running.

San Jose State 0 – HUMBOLDT STATE 77 Referee: Larry Freitas

Evaluator: Tom Martinez

The good news in this match is that once again San Jose State's rugby team is playing "on campus," which means on the old pitch right next to Spartan Stadium. The last time I saw this pitch, it was in terrible shape. So the grass is greener, thicker, and this is one of the few rugby pitches with deep "international sized" in goals, like Murrayfield's twenty-five yard deep in-goals. As I prepared for the match, I overheard Humboldt's players remarking about how deep the in-goals were.

Humboldt scored early and often, and their size and strength are the keys to their winning ways. Robert Montgomery is another center with size and speed, and getting the ball to him was all the Loggers needed to set up their scores. Humboldt's pack had the Spartans overpowered, winning several set scrums against the head. Brendan Leigh converted most of the tries, later in the game using drop kicks, as he had been inspired by seeing Sac State's Women's kicker in the earlier match. Danny Wilcox orchestrated the direction of play from the base of set scrums. It was all clinically effective against an undersized and overmatched Spartan XV. The score was 39 to nil after the first half, and in the second Humboldt romped in another 38 points. Final score: 77 - 0, and Humboldt must be looking forward to the playoffs in April. I would anticipate a possible rematch with UCSC for the Second Division Championship.

Santa Rosa JC 19 – GOLDEN GATE U-23, 49 Referee: John Coppinger

Evaluator: Jake Rubin

On For Pete's Sake

The match was delayed for 5 minutes as we waited for the SF/GG kit to show; however, when the kit manager called to say that he had indeed managed to find Santa Rosa and would be at the pitch shortly, he also confessed to leaving the SF/GG kit in the City. SF/GG took the pitch as the motleys.

SRJC took the kickoff cleanly and scored immediately as SF/GG seemed surprised to find the match had started; however, SF/GG took control and cruised to an easy victory. SF/GG played expansive 15 man rugby while SRJC's numerous chances were spoiled by a lack of support.

A good match played in good spirits.

My thanks to Jake Rubin for his coaching insights.

Seconds: Stanford 14 – CHICO STATE 58 Referee: Chris Fisher

Videographer: Bruce Carter

Stanford 6 – CHICO STATE 19 Referee: Bruce Carter

It was Parents’ Weekend at Stanford. That meant a bigger than usual crowd for the match and better than usual food for the post-game repast, two things to warm a referee’s heart.

Stanford is starting to gel. They held the lead on two penalty kicks, 6 – 5, for much of the second half. This excited the crowd to respectable decibel levels, although it must be noted that there was also a lot of noise when Chico State scored their tries.

It was a heartbreaker for the home side: with the clock winding down they were only six points in arrears and had all the possession. They had been keeping the ball and getting it to their backs with more regularity than in the first half. One line break could have made the difference.

But it was not to be. Time expired as a scrum was set, Chico State ball. They pummeled Stanford’s defense repeatedly, which held through half a dozen phases or more until that bane of the modern game, one missed tackle, allowed a centered try to push the final score beyond close.

STANFORD women 59 – Chico State 31 Referee: Geordie Hawkins

Coach: David Williamson

Videographer: Bruce Carter

Blue skies, a bright sun shining, a magnificent rugby pitch at Stanford and two well coached and athletic teams made for an exciting match at Steuber Field on Saturday as the Stanford and Chico State women's first fifteen put on an exquisite display of running rugby. The two teams combined for an amazing 13 tries in the match, most on dazzling breaks covering over 40 yards.

Both teams were tight to start the match, with several knock ons stopping play. It was 0-0 with about 24 minutes left in the first half when the athletic Stanford backs, with the help of some shoddy Chico tackling, unleashed 8 tries, putting up 52 points in the remaining 24 minutes. Chico played valiantly and scored two converted tries to make it 52-14 Stanford at the half.

The game was actually much closer than the score indicated, but Stanford's #10 Jossy Tseng and #13 Olivia Anglade had too much pace, skill and athleticism to contain. Both consistently made line breaks, either finishing off their long runs with tries or off loading to a teammate for an easy score. Look for big things from Stanford's #10 and #13 in the future.

Chico State is also very talented and continued to fight in the second half, tackling hard and actually outscoring Stanford in the second half 17-7. For Chico State scrumhalf Carrie White stood out, making tackles all over the field, breaking long runs and converting 5 out of 5 kicks.

A truly entertaining game from start to finish.

CALIFORNIA women 24 – Humboldt State 12 Referee: Joe Saccomanno

Great colligate game on Saturday. Both teams were pumped up and ready to go. Humboldt scored first with a converted try and mid way through the 1st half Cal came back with an unconverted try. At the half Humboldt led 7 to 5.

Same intensity was maintained in the second half with Cal coming up on top with three tries and two conversions to Humboldt's lone unconverted try.

Seconds: CALIFORNIA 33 women – Humboldt State 10 Referee: Rob Hendrickson

Berkeley and Humboldt women's B sides played 10 per side and 20 minute halves following the bruising A side game. The Berkeley backs opened up the scoring with several quick first half tries, finding themselves out in front 33 - 0 after the first 20 minute half. Humboldt came back in the second half, scoring 2 tries and blanking Cal.


Sac State women – UC Davis seconds CANCELED

San Jose State Women 5 – SACRAMENTO STATE 45 Referee: Deb Hart

This match was played on a nice, wide pitch adjacent to Spartan Stadium under clear and warm weather conditions. Sac came out blazing with two tries within the first six minutes. For both tries, the ball was spun quickly out to the wing. These were the first two of many tries where the backs broke out. The score at the half was 26 to 0. San Jose hung tough and the speedy wing for San Jose finally got her chance to show her stuff in the 76th minute when she brought the ball into the corner for the only San Jose try on the day. There were some problems with collapsing scrums and we went to uncontested scrums in the second half.



ST. MARY’S women 66 – Santa Clara 0 Referee: Bjorn Stumer

Although St. Mary's women ran the ball often and with good results, I was surprised when I finally tallied the score and saw their victory to be so massive. To their credit, the Santa Clara ladies refused to give up or to be intimidated by the score. The only sore moment happened 2.5 minutes into the second half when a Santa Clara player tackled high in such an assertive manner as to be sent off with a yellow card. Ironically she was injured in this tackle and never returned to the field of play. A bit of rain here and there, but overall a good day in front of a goodish crowd.


Report by David Williamson:

Stanford's Jonathan Griffin assembled an excellent group of coaches from around the globe as trainers for Sunday's Coach Development Day. Ian Mallard (formerly from the Christchurch Crusaders, now SFGG's coach); Gary Henderson (RFU), Josh Sutcliffe (formerly Australia RFU, now Stanford Women's coach), and Steve Gray (UC Davis) each made presentations in the conference room and on the field, putting Stanford's men and women rugby players through drills and question-and-answer sessions. Coach Griffin greeted us with bagels and coffee, and provided a buffet luncheon of salad, two choices of hot pasta, soft drinks, and dessert.

About 25 high school and college coaches from near and far (including five Pelicans) learned about coaching from the experts and from each other. Each trainer/coach showed us how to train specific skills, and to reinforce what was being learned by pulling information from the athletes. Instead of telling players how what they were doing right and wrong, the coaches asked questions. Through their answers, the players showed their understanding of the drill's purpose, and how they could perform better. Plus, and perhaps more importantly, the players said they were "having fun."

Josh Sutcliffe demonstrated how to plan a training session involving progressive, engaging drills with a particular purpose in mind. Given his plan, he prepared questions to enhance the players' understanding. He didn't have to ask the players whether they were having fun or not. Their happiness was readily apparent!!

Monday, 7:00 PM

Cal Maritime – Santa Rosa JC Referee: Sam Reagle

No report by press time.



From Bryant Byrnes:

This weekend's hero – Deb Hart. Deb was called Sunday 4 hours before the match and with a reckless disregard for weather and home comforts, she whistled two Lamorinda frosh-soph matches (and did a nice job). Well done!!!

By Deb Hart:

Here's my report for the High School Boys Frosh Mini-Tournament Games:

A freshman boys’ high school mini-tournament was held at La Marinda High School on Sunday to give the freshman a chance to compete against other freshman. Even though it was raining, the all weather surface pitch provided an excellent playing surface. I refereed two matches of twenty minute halves.

LAMORINDA 27 – De La Salle 5

In this first match, the two sides seemed evenly matched with both scoring one try each in the first half. The second half belonged to Lamorinda. They scored one minute into the second half and continued with three additional tries to bring the final score to 27 to 5.

De La Salle 10 – SF/GOLDEN GATE 52

The SFGG high school development is very impressive. In this match, GG started the scoring off in the 2nd minute. De La Salle answered with a try in the next minute but GG brought in three more tires to end the first half. The scoring was the same in the second half - GG scored four tries and De La Salle scored one try. GG made all but two of their conversion kicks; De La Salle made one.


Man, I’m too old and slow for 3 games in 24 hours.

PIEDMONT 15 – Marin 5

Friday night; Piedmont vs Marin under lights at Witter field in Piedmont.

Marin started slow giving up a quick try (converted) and then another unconverted before they really woke up. Marin came back for a try in the 1st half for a 12 – 5 score. The second half was much tighter with the only score being a Piedmont Penalty.

The Marin #8 will be a player to watch once he gets some more experience, while Piedmont have several players of experience and promise, including their #8.

Hayward 24 – GOLDEN GATE 33


Arriving at Hayward expecting to run touch for the Hayward vs San Jose game and then ref the 2nds I found the field being set up and no ref for the HS fixture. All the games moved back and rugby ensued.

Hayward continue to bring athleticism and power to their HS team; conditioning and discipline are items to work on. It should be noted that at least two HS seniors are plying their trade with the Hayward men’s side (very well too) so there is a very bright future in the East Bay. SFGG also bring athleticism and power – especially the inside center, but add better organization and conditioning.

A first half of big hits and strong running brought Hayward 2 tries (one converted) to SFGG’s 3 tries (2 converted) for a 19 – 12 half time score for the visitors. The second half saw more of the same, big tackles and strong running with two tries apiece, SFGG converting both and Hayward only one. Final score SFGG 33 – Hayward 24.

Then I got to run touch for a very good Hayward vs San Jose game before a 20 minute exhibition by the
Hayward U 12 boys and girls;

And then I got to do my third match in the middle, the Hayward – Seahawks seconds, full forties.


JESUIT 50 – Mother Lode 0 Referee: Sam Reagle

Conditions: Perfect

Mother lode played well the entire game and had several chances to score during the day, but the outcome was never in doubt as Jesuit scored their first try 4 minutes in, culminating in 4 tries in each half to control the tempo of this game. This game was a pleasure to officiate. I would have preferred a closer score, but Mother Lode (and Jesuit) played with a lot of heart and honor throughout.

De La Salle 7 – LAMORINDA 17 Referee: Chris Parkhouse

A very hard fought game held very tight for the first 50 minutes with a single try and conversion separating the two teams. Lamorinda dominated the line out for much of this game and showed a lot of fluidity in passing and running. De La Salle were really starved of good clean ball to the backs and consequently failed to get a good consistent rhythm going. Unfortunately two yellow cards in the game meant De La Salle played for nearly twenty minutes with 14 men. The margin of victory could certainly have been wider. Lamorinda had several efforts fall short of the line, a long reach falling short of the line, a knock on 2 m from the line and failing to release following an isolated run.

BERKELEY12 – Tri-Valley 10 Referee Rob Hendrickson

The Berkeley Rhinos scored their second (and winning) try in the last minute of the game. Tri-Valley scored first, with the score 5 - 0 at the half, and carried a 10 point lead into the last 10 minutes of the game, when the Rhinos came charging back with 2 late tries.



Sandy Robertson, David Williamson, Geordie Hawkins, Bruce Carter enjoy the day down on the Farm.


For the Senate

Pelicus Scriptoris