Monday, March 13, 2006





The San Francisco/Golden Gate RFC has been kind enough to allow us the use of their clubhouse facilities for our society meeting this Tuesday evening.

The referee development committee will meet at six, with the general society meeting at seven. We will finish at nine.

Out guests of honor will sing for their supper. The first hour will consist of presentations by our East Midlands colleagues. Then will ensue presentations by Paul Bretz on running lines; David Williamson on coaching conferences and training techniques; and Mike Malone with some instructional video on attackers offside at the ruck.

Our foreign friends will also be ‘handed off’ by their Sacramento area hosts to their Bay Area hosts at the meeting.

Directions to the clubhouse are at the bottom of this missive. Don’t miss this, our last scheduled meeting of the season!


We need two touch judges at Witter Field at the same time as the society meeting.

Cal will be playing UC Santa Cruz at 7 PM Tuesday evening. Ron Gore of the East Mids will be refereeing. If you would like to run touch for our guest, please respond.


Chris Saini and Matt Ward of the Vancouver Island RRS joined us for a long weekend March 9-12. Pelicans will remember Matt from last year’s exchange.

They were met at SFO by Paul Berman on Thursday. Paul hosted Chris and Joe Leisek hosted Matt.

Both visitors refereed in the Redwood Empire high school league on Friday. Each then did a club match on Saturday, and Matt did the final of the Pat Vincent Cup on Sunday.

Here is Joe Leisek’s report:

Welcome to California: Rain, Snow, Sleet, Hail, and Rugby

It rained when Matt Ward arrived in Petaluma on Thursday evening. It hailed in the morning when we drove to the Russian River vineyards, and sleet fell as he refereed a high school game in Santa Rosa late that afternoon. When we drove home Friday, snow was visible on the hills just east of Petaluma. On Sunday, in the cold rain at St. Mary's College, Matt's colleague Chris Saini dismissed the conditions, saying: Ah, this is beach weather back home.

It was great to see Matt again. I had hosted him last year, along with Sam Langridge. A 23-year-old med student from Victoria, Matt is a young referee who can handle men's first division rugby. He works hard on his refereeing and his studies. He's a fine young man who enjoys himself and has a great sense of humor. He took an interest in my kids and engaged them in conversations about school and their own interests. A great billet! I really enjoyed meeting Chris as well.

On Thursday, Tracy and I prepared dinner for Matt. Late Friday morning Matt and I met Paul Berman and Chris Saini at Porter Creek Winery, in the Russian River vineyards. We stopped at two other nearby wineries, then had lunch in downtown Santa Rosa. We went our separate ways for high school games: Paul and Chris to Sonoma; me and Matt in Santa Rosa. Friday night was spent at home with me, Matt, Tracy, and my daughter Katie.

Saturday was a rugby day and a dinner and friendship evening. After the rugby, Paul had organized a dinner at the New Zealand Restaurant and Pub in Alameda. Our Victoria guests were joined by me and my son Will, and Paul and his wife Ana Abraldes. It was a great evening for six good friends.

Sunday was also a rugby day, as I refereed the consolation of the Pat Vincent Cup and Matt handled the final. Conditions were miserable, but Matt did well to produce an entertaining match. Afterwards, the three of us hurriedly toweled off and changed clothes in the parking lot, in the rain, and made a mad dash for SFO. We made it 45 minutes before departure time.

[Editor’s Note: the reports of the PVC games are further down in this edition of HP.]

Matt and Chris are two great guys who certainly brought a lot of pleasure to me during the weekend, and it was great to see Paul and Ana.

And there was rugby:

Friday, March 10

Jacobs Park, Santa Rosa

SANTA ROSA HS 24 – Rancho Cotate HS 5 Referee: Matt Ward

Touch Judge: Joe Leisek

Santa Rosa proved far too experienced and organized for Rancho. The outcome was never in doubt. To their credit, Santa Rosa overcame the conditions for a well-played match. (Conditions being rain and sleet.)

The reports on Chris Saini’s games are by Paul Berman:

Match Report: Fri., 10 Mar 2006

NorCal High School Boys:

Windsor-Healdsburg 5 – SONOMA DRAGONS 15 Referee: Chris Saini

Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Venue: Hanna Boys Center, Sonoma, Kick-off 17:05

The field was scattered with boulders (I believe late Mesozoic) and grass was 8 inches in some areas. The field keeper had one too many before lining the pitch. I was hoping for snow so we could toboggan the end to end grade. Oh ya... there were no posts.

Improvisationally inclined Touch Judges were substituted for the uprights. It was hard to keep a straight face when kicks at goal were on. The severity of the field's character was matched only by the home coach's generosity and graciousness.

Weather: Four seasons in one day, including freezing rain, falling as snow at higher elevations on surrounding hills.

Comments: Both teams played with a lot of heart. Dragons’ hooker showed exemplary leadership and skill for high school Rugby. Poor tackling is what killed W-H in the end.

Highlight/Play of The Game: Early in second half. Dragons 10 scores go ahead try on 50m run. Excellent pace and multiple changes of direction.

Points spread: Sonoma - 3 tries, Windsor – Healdsburg - 1 try

Match Report: Sat., 11 Mar 2006

NorCal Div. III Men

Berkeley RFC 3MISSION 59 Referee: Chris Saini

Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Venue: Treasure Island, San Francisco, Kick-off 13:00

Pitch was very short and narrow with muddy patches.

Weather: Sunny with a slight wind out of the west.

Comments: It was a rather lopsided affair. However, both teams showed great restraint and class to not let the game get chippy (niggle et al). Mission scrum was completely dominant. After a Berkeley front row injury (early in the second half) we moved to uncontested scrums. 7 converts on 9 tries for Mission. An exceptional kicker? Well, he was good but all but one of the seven converted tries was scored under the uprights. It was excellent running by Mission. Berkeley was unable to tackle the speedy and elusive Mission backs.

Highlight/Play Of The Game: Last Try of the match - Mission #4 at 3m in the corner makes excellent underarm pass while being tackled into touch. Streaking flanker catches and scores it. It was selfless and svelte all at once. For the more technical fans - Mission's last score of the first half was a textbook pushover try.

Points spread: Berkeley - 1 penalty goal, Mission - 9 tries, 7 conversions

San Mateo 25 – SF/GOLDEN GATE SL 32 Referee: Paul Bretz

Referee Coach: Bryan Porter

San Mateo Played host to the SFGG Superleague team in its last preseason match. The hosts gave them exactly what they needed. SFGG won 32-25. At one point the super league side was down to 13 players. However the shortage was not the result of sin bin's as one might expect: at one point in the second half two players went off to stop open wounds. The new coach for SFGG decided to further test his players by making them play short. While short the defenders of the Golden Gate stopped the San Mateo attack.

Hayward 15 – OLYMPIC CLUB 25 Referee: Ron Gore (East Mids)

Seconds: Hayward – Olympic Club Referee: Jim Crenshaw

No report received.

WEST SAC LIONS 44 – SF/Golden Gate 18 Referee: Aruna Ranaweera

Evaluator: Dixon Smith

Rumors of bad weather were unfounded as the match was played under sunny skies, but on a rather bumpy field.

Both teams ran well with the ball, but West Sac had more possession and better support, offloading the ball with ease at the tackle, reminiscent of sevens rugby.

Despite fielding only 17 players, SFGG held their own in the set pieces and were able to keep the score close at the half, 19-11 in favor of West Sac.

In the second half, West Sac continued to pass the ball adventurously, with their flyhalf often switching the direction of attack following forward charges led by their number 8. The home team's forwards and backs linked up well to notch several exciting tries and could have scored more except for a number of knock-ons with the goal line in sight.

To their credit, SFGG were persistent to the end and were rewarded with a try in the final minute of play following several phases.

Final tally: West Sac won comfortably, 7 tries to 2. Overall, this was a fun match featuring two teams that play entertaining rugby. Much thanks to Dixon Smith for his time and advice as evaluator.

DIABLO GAELS 47 – Seahawks 8 Referee: Matt Ward (Vancouver Island)

Evaluator: Mike Malone

Touch Judge: Bo Rodman

Seconds: Diablo Gaels 26 – SEAHAWKS 45 Referee: Bo Rodman

Using at least a dozen recycled players from the first game the Seahawks came out strong and determined in the second-side match. Despite fatigue, San Jose was able to kick effectively for territorial gains and got out to a 28-0 halftime lead.

A tale of two halves (was that Dickens?) After apparently waking up at halftime, the hosts came out heated in the second half. Using strong driving mauls off lineouts and rucks the Gaels were able to close the score to 2 tries. At this point the more experienced Seahawks shook off the fatigue and ran the final to 45-26.

I would say that it is disappointing to watch a young and relatively inexperienced second-side club get outclassed by a first-side playing their second match of the day. In all fairness, I watched the reverse of this a few weeks ago when San Jose hosted San Mateo. It would be better if all clubs traveled with two full sides…

Baracus 7 – SANTA ROSA 20 Referee: John Pohlman

After refereeing a high school game in the morning. I arrived at Santa Rosa's third field around 12:15. Baracus was supposed to host the game but felt their home fields would not be opened. Santa Rosa agreed to supply a field. Pete's Sake #1 and Elsie Allen #2 fields were not up to big game form. So the game was moved down the street to a park field. Most teams would be happy with this field as their permanent pitch.

It was a surprisingly nice day for rugby. Around 60 degrees and partly sunny. Santa Rosa had the full regulation pitch roped off and in very good shape. Baracus was slowly arriving. The 101 had been closed all morning due to a 28 car pile-up resulting from snow and ice on the freeway.

Kick off at 1:15.

The game was very competitive throughout. Except for a few unforced handling errors and some whining by a couple of Santa Rosa's forwards. Both teams played hard, aggressive rugby.

The first half was controlled mostly by Santa Rosa. # 2 and Captain Tyler Ahlorn scored the first try late in the half. Hard running center Chris Elkin scored at half time to make the score 17-0 Santa Rosa.

The second half saw some great scoring opportunities stopped by great defense and a few fumbled passes.

Santa Rosa fullback Aaron Anthony scored his 10 point of the game with a penalty kick early in the half.

At 73 minutes Winger Perry Pickert was rewarded with a lovely long try, handled by half a dozen Baracus players.

With the momentum shifting, Baracus's ran out of time. Final Santa Rosa 20 Baracus 7.

Thanks for some really good rugby.

Second: Baracus – Santa Rosa outcome unknown

John Pohlman says:

“They were getting organized when it started sleeting. I begged off due to all sorts of reasons. One of the first side players had a whistle and seemed capable.”

SACRAMENTO 35 – Arroyo Grande 15 Referee: Tony Latu

Saturday is always a RUGBY day, great weather with great game. I picked up Ian Baggott from Sac State en-route to the Del Paso Height in Sac. We arrived there as the Sac men marked the field. Since Arroyo Grande traveled light, second game was questionable. But as we arrived at the field Kiwi Terry informed us that there will be a second game. The old boys vs Sac B team. I was happy that Ian didn't travel thousands of miles not to ref a game.

The first game was evenly matched at the first fifteen minutes; then Sac took control. But AG kept on trucking and they scored 8 points at the break. Sac liked to run and spread the ball wide, and it worked against the AG defense. AG forwards worked hard all day, but at the end it was Sac who won the game. Sac-35, AG-15.

Great feed at the Street of London by Mason and the Sac Boys. My day or night ended at Ray and Kat's house. Food, beer and two great games, Ireland vs Scotland and Chiefs vs Crusaders.

Seconds: Sacramento 27 – ARROYO GRANDE Loosely configured B 30

Referee: Ian Baggott (East Mids)

TJ: None Whatsoever

At some dodgy inner city Sac field (Hagginwood Park)

Following on from the strongly-contested, though relatively unskilled, A-team match ably refereed by Northern Cal Society ref Tony Latu, demonstrating that a good ref with only the one functioning knee can quite adequately control 30 athletes of such ability, we had the unseemly spectacle of my first match on USA soil.

You might have thought it was concern about the safety issues arising from the entirely ungrassed top right corner of the pitch shared with the baseball diamond that held them back, but not at all. As they saw me strip off my jogger-bottoms it became clear to the players that 30 would be far too many for a man in my condition to handle and accordingly many threw themselves into reverse gear, leaving only 3 men from the visitors to take on 11 from Sac. It looked like early beer-time until they agreed to share some players and then, feeling sorry for so few men to cover such a big field area, 6 more volunteers were found, giving us numbers for a 10-a-side contest.

(In all truth, I believe the last six really didn't fancy the prospect of standing by themselves in the neighborhood - they had after all been going in groups of minimum three-at-a-time to the nearby restrooms, the latter marked by profuse gang-related graffiti and clearly-recent gunshot damage.)So I told them 15 minutes each way and ignored my watch until even the two Tongans were crying out for water. OK half-time, 22 to Sac, 10 to "Arroyo" and pals.

In the 2nd period, Arroyo cranked it up and scored 4 good tries to 1 to take the win. 1 conversion from 11 drop-goal attempts is probably a fair reflection of the skill levels.

Everyone happy and off to the "Streets of London" for chili and chips and beer. Thank you Sac Men and Arroyo Grande.

APTOS 15 – Monterey 5 Referee: Larry Freitas

Aptos prevailed in this game at Preston Park in Marina (Fort Ord) by a score of 15-5 over "visiting" Monterey. The Beach Dogs were dominant in the scrums and lineouts, though Monterey put on a good fight, especially in the second half.

After two first half tries, Aptos lead 12-0. I was anticipating a flood of scoring for the Beach Dogs in the second half, as they would have the strong wind at their backs, though going uphill, and Monterey looked vulnerable as they were having a hard time keeping or using any ball, and in defense were having trouble containing Aptos fullback Tucker Sanders, who made some brilliant counter-attacking runs. Monterey kept Aptos out of the try zone for the second half, and late in the match Monterey's Tita Latu scored from a pass out of a ruck that fromed just metres from Aptos' line after Monterey decided to run a penalty from five metres following an infringement by an Aptos forward. A few minutes before full time Aptos got three points from a penalty kick by hooker Mark Horbin, one of the original players left from the team’s inaugural '96-'97 season.

Final note: in this game the goal line was where the goal posts stand, which left for some of the shortest in-goals one can imagine, maybe four metres deep. No one came in contact with the cyclone fence just beyond the dead ball line during the match.

Berkeley 3 – MISSION 59 Referee: Chris Saini (Vancouver Island)

Evaluator: Jake Rubin

VACAVILLE 37 – Marin 7 Referee: Rod Chance

Vacaville had control of the game from the start. Their strong running and kicking paved the way for us sound victory. All in all, it was great a rugby with two good spirited teams that played hard rugby.

STANISLAUS HARLOTS 43 – Redding 0 Referee: Bob Tustin (East Mids)

Referee Coach: Matt Eason

Fog 28 – RENO 45 Referee: Bruce Bernstein

Seconds: STANFORD women 17 – CALIFORNIA 19 Referee: Deb Hart

Videographer: Bruce Carter

The first of four Cal/ Stanford rugby matches began with the Cal women second side against the Stanford women second side. The pitch looked in amazingly good condition considering the amount of rain that poured in the last few days and luckily there was no rain when I got to Stanford. The rugby gods showed their favour on the pitch from heaven.

The two teams battled in mid-field for most of the first fifteen minutes. It was about that time when the Stanford hooker came off the field with a serious ankle injury. Ten minutes later Stanford brought in the first try of the game and converted the kick. Cal fought on and scored two tries in the last ten minutes of the first half and converted both kicks.

Cal scored one more time in the 56th minute but didn't make the conversion. Stanford scored again from the wing and didn't make the conversion. One more try and conversion by Stanford would tie the game. Stanford pressed into the Cal defense and got the ball to the backs and brought it in for their last try in the corner in the 79th minute. The kick, however, was a bit short and Cal won the match 19 to 17.

Best wishes and speedy recovery to the Stanford hooker with the ankle injury.

Thanks to Bruce for his coaching and videotaping of my game.

STANFORD women 32 – California 15 Referee: Bruce Carter

Goff on Rugby’s #1 ranked team played #13 in front of a loud crowd on an unexpectedly sunny day at the Steuber Rugby Stadium – and the underdogs held the lead for a good portion of the game.

Cal Wing Marlee Hahn is a very good player who scored all three of the Bears’ tries. Twice she snuck into the left corner, once after a lovely chip kick when she realized there were three defenders to beat. She, and the bounce of the ball, beat them all.

Deb Hart was invaluable to the referee, being in the corner on both occasions to ascertain that the touchline tightrope hadn’t been inappropriately tip-toed.

But Stanford’s backs, who threatened to break out repeatedly, eventually did and the score mounted in their favor.

Stanford 12 – CALIFORNIA 67 Referee: Pete Smith

Touch Judges: Tom Wright, Bruce Carter

Saturday morning I woke up to a day that I had circled on my calendar since getting assigned the games. It started with East Palo Alto at Live Oak, two of the top teams in the Skyhawk conference. (Report below in the High School section.)

From there it was off to Stanford for the ‘Big Game’ with California. The games final result it probably not a shocker to anyone that follows college rugby as Cal is probably the best team in the US at any level. That said; I have to take my hat of to the men from Stanford. The halftime score was 24-7 and it seemed closer than that. The final score was 67-12 with Stanford managing another try in the second half and if not for a knock-on at full time would have scored a third. Admittedly, Cal sat a few of their top players and still ultimately controlled the game, but Stanford played hard for all 82 minutes. I overheard one of the Cal coaches after the game complimenting the Stanford captain on his team’s performance and his general disbelief in Stanford’s record to date. I would agree with the coach and would assert that if Stanford played the rest of their schedule the way they played against Cal, their record would be substantially different.

From a referee’s perspective, I was having a miserable time with the scrums all day. My AM high school game was, likewise, a bit of a mess in the scrum department. I attributed some of it to the wet conditions and still more to the contentious nature of the games, but that is not sufficient enough excuse for the way the scrums went for me on Saturday. I talked with Bruce Carter my TJ at halftime and worked with him throughout the game as my ‘problem’ in that game were the props on his side (one of which was a hooker playing out of position and the other a bit of a grizzled veteran trying every trick in the book). It got to the point where I was dreading awarding scrums. I got through it just the same and probably learned yet another thing or two about managing the situation and spotting possible tactics.

Seconds: Stanford 0 – CALIFORNIA 116 Referee: Joe Androvich

Videographer: Bruce Carter

The Cal Seconds looked like a well oiled machine, as usual.

SAC STATE 25 – Santa Rosa JC 5 Referee: Nicola Reynolds (East Mids)

TJ: Kat Todd-Schwartz

Referee Coach: David Williamson

After a fairly leisurely match on Friday, I was fooled into thinking that Saturday's match would be fairly straightforward, but these boys were fast! I spent most of the match trying to catch them, with Sac state scoring all of their 25 points in the first 40 minutes. Dave gave me some much-needed advice at half time, after which Santa Rosa fought back but never really threatened the score-line. The game was faster and in warmer conditions than I am used to, but I enjoyed the game and I think the players did too. In any event, it passed without any incidents. Many thanks to Dave for his advice and also to Kat for her excellent touch judging and being my second pair of eyes!

Sacramento State – Santa Rosa JC Referee: Kat Todd-Schwartz

This game may not have been played. At press time we are uncertain.


Intro by Sam Reagle:

Because the weather report predicted bad weather, we (Gary Malpas of East Midlands and I) decided to leave at 9am for our 100 mile trek over the Sierra Nevadas for Gary's 2pm kickoff. Surprisingly, it was beautiful in the high country with several feet of fresh powder everywhere except the road, which was clear and dry. Upon arriving in Reno about 10:30, we decided to check out the nearby sights (casinos). After watching a circus act and learning to play craps, we headed for UNR.

Nevada 6 – UC DAVIS 24 Referee: Gary Malpas

Referee Gary Malpas continuing tour

Touch Judges: Sam Reagle & Dylan Gill

Weather: Snowing

Well this was an interesting game for more than playing reasons, my host Sam Reagle had done some pre condition checks via the web and phone calls as California was having some unseasonably cold weather, just to make sure the game was going ahead, and not hearing anything to the contrary we set off to Reno arriving in plenty of time this meant we could enjoy the local casinos, certainly a sight and sound that I was not used to because the only casinos I had been to back home would have fitted into most of the buffet restaurants that were inside.

Arriving at the pitch, the clouds looked heavy but high and it was dry, but after doing the pre match chats and boot checks the weather had decided to take a turn for the worst and the snow had started, both Sam Reagle and Dylan Gill ran touch which was a great relief as the snow by kick off meant that we were playing pretty much on a white canvas.

This meant that most of the first half of the game we spent guessing where the lines were, and the snow fell fairly steadily through the 1st half, someone had the foresight to turn on the floodlights which helped as it was pretty dark out there.

The game early on had Davis taking an early lead by scoring a converted try and looked in command to start off with but after making a penalty kick UNR had fought hard to be well in the match at half time only 3-7 down.

The snow had stopped falling for the second half but a blanket was still covering the pitch. Davis stepped up their pace and scored two unanswered tries before UNR pulled back another penalty, the game was well competed with two well drilled and disciplined teams Davis scored one more converted try at the death to make the final score UNR 6-24 Davis. Both sides would do well and flourish if they were based in the UK.

Seconds: Nevada 24 – UC DAVIS 32 Referee: Sam Reagle

Touch Judges: Gary Malpas & Dylan Gill

Weather: Changeable

By the time the "B" game kicked-off at 3:45pm, the snow had stopped and it warmed up to 32 degrees. The Aggies took control early, scoring their first try 6 minutes in and their second 8 minutes later. While attempting the conversion, I noticed the UCD kicker was wearing a knee brace with hard plastic buckles. This caught me by surprise as I didn't see it during my pregame inspection and had told the team specifically that illegal equipment was bin-able. When told that he had to insulate it or remove it, he asked how long he had to make the repair, "10 minutes", I said as I displayed my yellow card.

Within a minute, the UNR prop committed his third penalty and it was 14 on 14. After both teams returned to full strength, Davis scored again at the 26 minute mark and twice more to end the first half up 27-0. In the second half, it's hard to tell if Davis let up or UNR buckled down, but the next three tries belonged to UNR and it was 27-19 with 18 minutes to play. It was clear that the tackling improved on both sides as there was phase after phase after phase, but no scoring for the next 12 minutes when UCD earned another try to go up 32-19. It would have been easy for UNR to pack it in with only 5 minutes to go, but they didn't, scoring a try at the 78 minute mark to finish off the scoring. Both teams played with pride and control and in the spirit of the game.

HUMBOLDT STATE 12 – Maritime Academy 7 Referee: Sandy Robertson

With Humboldt's fields under inches of water the game was switched to Cal Maritime's pitch which had only a couple of spots where the water was even an inch deep. Nevertheless it was a match where everyone involved was carrying a bit more weight at the end of the match than at the start.

Maritime started off kicking for territory and in the 2nd minute was awarded a scrum 35 m out and 20 m in from the left sideline. The scrum wheeled and Maritime took advantage of the open space, ran from the base of the scrum, and scored an easy try. Humboldt took awhile to recover from the shock, but came back to score 2 tries before half-time. In the second half Humboldt put a lot of pressure on the Maritime line; Maritime retaliated with several forays into Humboldt territory; but neither side was able to add any points.

San Jose State 0 – UC SANTA CRUZ 70 Referee: Rich Anderson

This match was not as close as the score indicates. UCSC was dominant from the beginning, and short of some sloppy execution late in the second half, would have scored more. SJSU stayed focused throughout the match, but had no answer for some clever play from the Slugs.

Nevada women 0 – UC DAVIS 23 Referee: Dylan Gill

The game kicked off in the middle of a snow storm!


Santa Clara – GG U-23 CANCELED

UCSC women – Santa Clara CANCELED

Sac State women – San Jose State CANCELED

CSUMB – St. Mary's women CANCELED

PAT VINCENT CUP, Saturday, March 11

UC SANTA BARBARA 26 – Chico State 14 Referee: Joe Leisek

UC Santa Barbara is ranked in the top ten, nationally, while Chico has earned Honorable Mention status. The favored UCSB did not have an easy time with the Wildcats, however. Led by All-American Andrew King (son of Pelican Mike King and older brother of former Elsie Allen HS player Pat King), Santa Barbara recylcled well, has some phenomenal athletes with speed and size, and made significant gains in territory through the pick and go. But Chico proved to be up to the challenge, with solid defense and confident attacking of their own. The second half, in fact, was very closely contested. Referee's Note: I have now refereed both King brothers, which I thought put me in very select company. But Bruce Carter has also refereed them both, and their father. (I guess that's still select company.)

ST. MARY’S 34 – Central Washington 17 Referee: David Pope

St. Mary's started very fast. They kept the ball alive whenever possible, rucked quickly, passed out of contact and supported very well. They scored their first try quickly, then added another a few minutes later. All of the early conversions were missed because of the very muddy conditions. About 15 to 20 minutes in St. Mary's was leading 15 - 0 and the CWU players seemed tired. Then the game slowed down. CWU's forwards mauled well, and just before half time, CWU scored their first try.

In the second half CWU got within 3 points and had the momentum, but St. Mary's quick thinking scrum half took a quick tap at a penalty about 10m from the line and scored. St. Mary's then scored basically from the ensuing kick-off and the victory was sealed

Sunday, March 12


CENTRAL WASHINGTON 15 – Chico State 10 Referee: Joe Leisek

A tough match played in constant rain on a muddy, aromatic pitch. The teams were deadlocked 5-5 at the half, but CWU emerged with two tries in the last 40 minutes. The game was played in tight fashion, as conditions prevented a wide-open style of play. A grinding game, but well-played.


St. Mary’s 7 – UC SANTA BARBARA 25 Referee: Matt Ward (Vancouver Island)

Touch Judges: Chris Saini, Joe Leisek

Evaluator: Bryan Porter

As wet and muddy as the consolation was, the final was wetter and muddier...and colder. The better team won, and Matt controlled things well. UCSB ran with the ball inside their 22 despite a cold downpour and a layer of mud on every kind of surface: animal, mineral, or vegetable. They are committed and talented. Standouts included #5, a tall, powerful guy who did a lot of damage up the middle and set up many phases, and #6, a tall rangy flanker who played for Peninsula Green in high school. He had a great game. Congratulations to Coach Kevin Battle and the team.


Friday, March 10
Rio Linda 0 – ISLANDERS 44 Referee: Gary Malpas on tour…

Touch Judges: Sam Reagle & Eugene Baker

Weather: Cold mostly dry.

I was new here on exchange from the East Midlands society and having only landed the day before the Friday game that I was assigned to I really did not know quite what to expect. However I had had a relaxing day and was ready for any challenge that came my way.

The game kicked off pretty much on time and started really as it ended with Islanders on the attack, the only major difference was the hail stones at the end! A sign of things to come later that weekend.

This was a game where the Islanders were too powerful in open play for Rio to stop them and ended in a, at first what seems a one sided score of 0-44 to the Islanders, however Rio put up a good fight through the game willing not just to defend but attack to the very end. The game was played in a friendly atmosphere with both teams giving each other some friendly banter but still playing hard and fair. The tries came from a mix of backs and forwards steadily throughout the game.

The same positioned player sticks in my mind from both sides and that was the scrum halfs, though for different reasons. The islander S-H was a sniping Matt Dawson type player, and the S-H and Captain from the Rio side was a good disciplinarian that would not go amiss in some UK teams I have reffed, thank you guys I enjoyed the game I hope you did too.

LIVE OAK 15 – East Palo Alto 7 Referee: Pete Smith

Needless to say the game lived up to its billing as it was played with full effort by both teams for a full 70 minutes. These teams are closely matched as the 3-0 halftime score would illustrate. Live Oak managed two more tries in the second half with one converted to push their lead to 15-0 with about 15 minutes left. EPA managed a converted try with about 10 minutes to play and again it was anybody’s game. The final score ended at just that 15-7 in favor of Live Oak. The game could/should have been closer were it not for the heads up play of the Live Oak fullback/Captain Dustin Munn. From a penalty 60 meters out, Dustin charged up from fullback to tap and go around the EPA team that had their backs to the play. Take that play out and it is 8-7.

Venue: Elsie Allen
ELSIE ALLEN 49 – Montgomery 0 Referee: Bo Rodman

Both teams came into this Friday night matchup at 3-0 in league play. One side finished the evening 4-0 and it was never really in doubt. Elsie Allen showed fluidity and continuity through all phases of play and remain the cream of the North-Bay high school league.

Seconds: Elsie Allen 0 – MONTGOMERY 7 Ref: Rodman

The visiting Montgomery Vikings demonstrated a lot of determination in the abbreviated 2nd-side match prevailing 7-0. The Viking program is definitely on the upswing and just needs experience to build on their foundation.

LAMORINDA 81 – Piedmont 0 Referee: John Pohlman

Lamorinda was hosting games at Miramonte High School Saturday morning. This has to be one of the most beautiful high school campus's I have seen.

Lamorinda is in full season form. Fielding two varsity and a JV team. Everything was well organized when I arrived at 8:30 AM.

I had the 9:30 Varsity 1 versus Piedmont.

Game time saw 56 degrees, partly sunny and quite a few fans in the bleachers. The game was lots of Lamorinda.

Final Lamorinda 81 Piedmont 0.

I have refereed Golden Gate, East Palo Alto, Lamorinda, twice, Aptos, Peninsula Green and now Piedmont. I continue to be impressed with both the quality of play and coaching. This playoff season should be competitive and exciting.

I was then off for my next game Baracus versus Santa Rosa.

SILICON VALLEY 22 – Peninsula Green 10 Referee: Rich Anderson

Mother Lode 27 – JESUIT B 28 Referee: Bob Tustin

LAMORINDA beat Berkeley Referee: David Pope

This game was very close about 5 minutes into the second half, but then Lamorinda broke it open. Both teams had some excellent runners with lots of good play.


Our travel agents, Robyn and Harry Clever of The Clever Traveler of San Jose, have premium ticket deals for the Churchill Cup.

The packages include field level seats; food and drink before, during and after matches; a prime-spot parking pass; entry to post-game reception and awards presentations.

The price is $130 for one game or all three for $350. (Regular tickets will be $25 and $35.)

Contact Harry or Robyn if you would like to get in on this deal and SUPPORT THE EAGLES!



Our guests from Victoria were entertained before and after conquering the elements.

Standing, L to R: Ana Abraldes, Joe Leisek, Paul Berman

Sitting, L to R: Will Leisek, Matt Ward, Chris Saini.


For the Senate

Pelicus Scriptoris

Directions to the Golden Gate clubhouse:

From the Bay Bridge, traveling in either direction, get into the leftmost lane approaching the tunnel through Yerba Buena Island.

Exit and follow the signs for Treasure Island.

After you enter the brickwork gate, where the stop sign is, take the first Right – that is California Street.

Follow California down to the end. You’ll see the pitch on your left; the clubhouse is just past it. Parking is best beyond it.