Thursday, March 23, 2006




This is the best part of Scriptoris’ job description: announcing promotions!

Aruna Ranaweera to B3
Joe Androvich to C2
Don Pattalock to C3
Michael Taylor to C3

Aruna has caught fire since moving here from SoCal. He just made C1 a few months ago and is now demonstrating the ability to make the toughest games look easy.

Joe Androvich, a law student at USF, is just beginning his refereeing career. He seems to have started in the middle, skipping C3 entirely. He’s not the first to do that – several Pelicans we could name skipped one or even two grades. Joe is certainly the first to skip a grade who was born in the eighties!

Don Pattalock will be known to many of our readers from his coaching days in Reno. He is a geologist for the State of Nevada.

Michael Taylor is a physician in the Sacramento area who devotes a lot of time and energy to high school and youth rugby.

All of these referees are honoring the rugby players of Northern California with their determination to improve, to facilitate safe and competitive matches.

Congratulations, gentlemen!


We would like to gauge the potential attendance should we offer a society meeting next month. It would be at the Golden Gate clubhouse, and by then we will have a professional-decorated Referee Changing Room to show off!

Paul Bretz and Mike Malone have video presentations ready to go. We can consider the second or third Wednesday or Thursday – April 12, 13, 19 or 20.

Please respond first if you would attend an April meeting and, if so, which date you would prefer.


The demands of a new medical practice mean that your scribe cannot begin to do justice to the friendships that bloomed over the past two weeks, nurtured by the greatest on-going exchange in the referee world.

Alas, a few paragraphs will have to suffice.

Have you ever been to the base of Yosemite Falls, looking up in awe at one of the wonders of this green Earth?

Have you ever been there at midnight? With the falls thundering aloud?

Have you ever been there under a full Moon, which at midnight rides the zenith of its ecliptic? With the light of that full Luna reflected and intensified by a crest of new-fallen snow?

Have you ever been there when the only souls around were a handful of brand-new and fast friends?

All of these stars aligned last week as Wednesday became Thursday, as cousins in rugby became friends in life, and as the pedestrian concerns of day to day existence became as nothing compared to the glory of God.


Thursday morning the day dawned clear and blue, the sky cold enough to break. Neither a zephyr stirred nor a molecule of precipitation fell: perfect conditions for conversation to carry onward and upward.

The dawn found a lucky thirteen trekkers breaking an uphill trail to Nevada Falls.

Some other, not quite so intrepid folks had ventured ahead and turned back, not being familiar enough with the route to forge ahead into the pristine whiteness. But when they saw the human snowplow that was the Vanilla Gorilla, Ray Schwartz, leading our party they confidently fell in behind.

It was a day of inspired exhaustion and inspirational exertions. It was day when beef jerky tasted like fillet mignon and trail mix like ambrosia, such was the intoxication of sensory overload.

It was day that all involved will remember fondly, no matter what wilderness adventures previously occupied their cerebral cortices.

The day ended, not at all an anticlimax, at the home of Frank and Clarice Merrill for corned beef and cabbage for most of the group.

Ian and Elaine Baggott had not had enough of frozen water and attended the Sharks’ game with Pete and Leah Smith.


Our guests were hosted and entertained in Sacramento and in the Bay Area by a dozen or more Pelicans, who took time off work that they will never regret and gave of time and treasure to further forge the bonds of rugby friendship.

At the risk of offending by leaving anyone out:

· All of the hosts who opened their homes and their hearts: Ray and Kat, Matt and Jennifer, Jim and Kirsten, Sam, Dixon and Christine, Pete and Leah, Tom, David and Helen, Frank and Clarice

· Sam Reagle and Teresa for the ‘insiders tour’ of San Quentin – including inside the death chamber

· Jerry Figone and Mike Strain of Cal for the tour of the Doc Hudson Fieldhouse, the closest thing to Twickenham’s Museum here in the former colonies

· Paul Berman for the four-hour San Francisco Deluxe Highlights Tour

· All who attended Saturday night’s banquet at the Pyramid Alehouse in Berkeley to honor our guests

· For the touch judges, referee coaches and evaluators who worked with the exchangees

· Joe Leisek for arranging and coordinating all of these activities

· Kudos Cum Laude to San Francisco/Golden Gate and the University of California for incredible rugby days on April 18th and 19th

· And especially to the rugby teams of Northern California for the privilege they allow us of refereeing their recreation and being part of their athletic lives


Like any diligent referee, Scriptoris looked up the CIPP registration of a player to whom he issued a yellow card for foul play on Saturday, a Lamorinda player.

Lamorinda has 180 players CIPPed. Jesuit has 169.

Got a moment when the boss isn’t looking? We might have a new parlor game: trying to find a team with more…


CALIFORNIA XV 29 – UC Santa Cruz 0 Referee: Ron Gore (EMRRS)

A game played under floodlights. This was a keenly contested game throughout with UC Berkeley taking a 22-0 lead in the first half. The second half saw both sides struggling to retain possession in the persistent rain, resulting in a number of scrummages. To credit both sides there was only one collapsed scrum in the game.

UC Berkeley scored one converted try in the second half and although Santa Cruz had a penalty opportunity to score points they chose to go for the line-out. Santa Cruz remained a strong team and had opportunities to score in the second half but lacked the speed in their backs to turn good possession into points.


JV: GOLDEN GATE 29 – Lamorinda 5 Referee: Nicola Reynolds (EMRRS)
Videographer: Bruce Carter

This was the first of three games played on the Job Corp pitch on Treasure Island.

Significant portions of the pitch were lower than the water table. That is, the ambient level of groundwater attained a higher elevation than the surface of the Earth in places.

The thing was underwater, fergawdsakes!

Nicola did a fine job with some eager and energetic youngsters. Her excellent coaching pedigree (Murray Felstead, now his American doppelganger) will no doubt pay dividends well into the future.

A highlight of the video consists of a player running in to fall on the loose ball. The ball is a couple of meters from touch. His momentum is directly in line with the center of mass of the spectators. The ball is floating on a couple of inches of water. The player is a bit of a wide-body.

The result would have earned raving tens all around at any cannon-ball competition at any YMCA swimming pool during the youth of the baby boomers.

Tri-Valley 17 – LAMORINDA SILVER 21 Referee: Bob Tustin (EMRRS)

Lamo B defeated Tri-Valley 21 - 17; a better played game than the aforementioned conditions would have suggested.

GOLDEN GATE U-23, 31 – St. Mary’s seconds 25 Referee: Bryant Byrnes

TI Rugby World Fair. Nifty game. To the extent a contested and spirited game can be a ''friendly'', this was it; SF/GG kids often go on to be SMC kids.

The skill level and team demeanor were high – good coaching shows. 19-6 at half for SF/GG, SMC scores the last one (a penalty try and conversion) to make it 25 to 31, but time runs out. I’ll bet the Gaels do a lot of tackling practice between now and the rematch.

Later that same day, on the main pitch:

Varsity: Golden Gate 27 – LAMORINDA 31 Referee: Bruce Carter

This was a vitally exciting match, with agony and ecstasy doled out to both sides.

Lamorinda opened with two tries in five minutes and two more not too much later. It was an opening much like the famous Bledisloe Cup match Andre Watson refereed in 2000 when New Zealand scored twenty-four in eight minutes.

Just like in that match, the home team came back slowly and confidently. It was 24 – 12 at the half and Golden Gate took the lead for the first time on a long run off an intercept with less than ten minutes to play.

And again, true to the model of that epic game in Sydney attended by over 100,000, the visitors scored a famous try with about a minute left to re-take the lead they’d held so long. After about the fourth of fifth sustained goal-line stand of the day, Lamorinda just managed to sneak the ball in against the ground and the goalpost pad, convert the try, and go ahead 31 – 27.

Gate came out furiously, right back down to the Lamo line, another intense goal-line stand – and, just as the referee’s watch was going beep-beep-beep, a player’s arms proved too short as he reached through the pile with the ball and dropped it the last centimeter, forward onto the goal line.

SF/Golden Gate 7 – HAYWARD 55 Referee: Joe Leisek
Touch Judges: Giles Wilson, Ray Schwartz
Fourth Official: Scott Wood
Evaluator: Paul Rosenzweig (Potomac)

A spectacular day at Treasure Island. The weather was fabulous, there was a large crowd (our East Midlands visitors and many injured Society members were among those in attendance), and there was lots of rugby. Hayward stormed SFGG throughout the match, though the home side gave their all. With Mose Timoteo directing traffic, the visitors spun the ball wide and often, moving forward with the ball for most of the match and scoring several tries. Special thanks to Paul Rosenzweig, our exchange evaluator from Washington DC. Paul is a delightful guy (and insightful evaluator) who was billeted by Bryant Byrnes.

Super League:

SF/GOLDEN GATE 56 – OPSB 0 Referee: Pat McNally
Touch Judges: Joe Leisek, Bruce Carter
Fourth officials: Giles Wilson, Scott Wood
Evaluator: Dixon Smith

Some you win, some you lose, some are born to sing the blues.

On this day, the Defenders of the Golden Gate came out of these two blowouts eight points to the good.

OLYMPIC CLUB 29 – West Sac 19 Referee: Pete Smith

What turned into an away game for both teams as the rains had been relentless all week, Olympic Club played host to West Sacramento in what turned out to be a thrilling game.

The clouds gave way to clear skies and mid sixty degree temperatures at what is commonly referred to as either Eden Park, as the field is on Eden Park Drive and Hesperian or the Pepsi Field, although I am sure neither is the true name of the field.

Ian Baggott, my East Mids Exchange referee/assessor, and I traveled up from San Jose to Hayward listening to some Kaiser Chiefs, apparently they were the new band of the year for 2005, and after a listen, I would likewise rate them quite highly.

The game kicked off a little late as some of the West Sac players and their uniforms had taken the wrong freeway and was a little late in arriving. Once there, the game was off to a cracker of a start. It looked more like a 7’s game than 15’s and one of the West Sac players even commented to me that they are more of a 7’s team. Needless to say it was wide open with both teams using every inch of field.

As I had suspected, the pace was not sustainable by either team and reduced itself to just an ‘ordinary’ great game. Olympic Club scored first and second opening up a 14-0 lead heading towards halftime, only to surrender a try as time in the first half had expired making the score at the break 14-7.

The second half had O Club playing a more consolidated game, keeping the ball in tight and not letting West Sac have any possession. They managed to push the score up to 29-7 and appeared to have the game well in hand with 10 minutes left and that is when the game started to look like the first 10 minutes. West Sac played with reckless abandon and managed two wide open multi-phased tries, tightening the score to 29-19 with just about 3 minutes left.

With under a minute to play and the full time whistle ready to be blown, O Club had a lineout in the West Sac end that turned into a maul. The maul was stolen by West Sac and off they went again. Under pressure, O Club committed a penalty, now well beyond full time and West Sac again made a charge at the line only to knock on five meters from the O Club try line-game over!

Final Score 29-19 Olympic Club over West Sac Lions.

Seconds: Olympic Club – West Sac Referee: Joe Androvich
Referee Coach: Ian Baggott (RFU)

Diablo Gaels 12 – SAN MATEO 29 Referee: Ron Gore
Evaluator: Bryan Porter

This game was played on a hot afternoon on a soft pitch with a few wet areas, particularly between the touch line and the 15m line on one side. Fortunately the players managed to avoid this area for much of the game. Tony Latu assisted me on one touch line, which he ran in front of the home supporters. Needless to say he was kept busy explaining to the vocal supporters the technicalities of the game.

Although Gaels took an early lead with a well worked try followed by an intercepted pass, which left everybody including yours truly momentarily heading in the wrong direction, San Mateo proved too be far too adept at using the impressively sized forwards to create driving mauls, sucking in the Gaels defence and leaving gaps through which to score. Diablo Gaels continued to play open rugby using their backs to good effect but San Mateo were not going to relinquish the lead once they were in front. The game saw a yellow card for each side for repeated infringements committed in the tackle area and both sides responded positively. A yellow card was given with 1.5 minutes to go for a silly push on a player by the San Mateo number 10. I think the highlight for Bryan Porter who was watching and had me wired was listening to Rap Music for part of the first half.

Seconds: Diablo Gaels 37 – SAN MATEO 43 Referee: Tony Latu

San Mateo traveled light, so they have to play their 'A players again. They faced a very young and promising Diablo Gales team. Hopefully they'll be around in years to come, and GO to practice.

San Mateo took control of the game early. But DG came back and scored 3 tries in two minutes. Unfortunately, it was too little too late.

BARACUS 42 – Fresno 32 Referee: Lois Bukowski
Field: Hayward All Weather Field

Rugby all day in Hayward as my game followed the O Club 1st and 2nd sides vs. West Sac. Pete and Joe both had good runs and tourist and friend Ian Baggott strolled the sideline dispensing coaching advice on request.

The boys of B.A. Baracus struck first with a penalty kick 31 minutes in and Fresno answered 5 minutes later. Both teams were pushing the onside limit and testing the ref. Fresno was first to the try line and Baracus tied it up with under 10 minutes to play. They closed out the scoring for the half with a beautiful pickup and rumble to the line off their scrum. Half Baracus 15 v 8.

The second half saw a barrage of scoring from both sides, hard hitting runs, slick evasive maneuvers and movement through the hands. Fresno scored more tries, but Baracus had a few penalty kicks and converted more. They held on as Fresno scored at fulltime.

Fun game!

SANTA ROSA 52 – Arroyo Grande 20 Referee: Bo Rodman
Referee Coach: Mike Malone
Venue: Jacob's Park

The visitors traveled with only 15 players and it only got worse from there. The home side took awhile to wake up - allowing Arroyo Grande to get out to an early 13-5 lead in the first ten minutes on 2 penalty kicks and a converted try. Santa Rosa started taking it straight at Arroyo Grande and the half ended at 28-13.

We were forced to go to uncontested scrums early in the second half when the Arroyo Grande hooker got 'mischanneled' and had to leave the field. The second half saw Santa Rosa turn up their pressure and finish out at 52-20.

There were a number of players who were not really interested in playing clean rugby; and, unfortunately I don't feel I did enough to encourage them to do so. Thanks to Mike Malone for telling me that there will be days like this and to use it as a learning experience.

Redding 15 – APTOS 29 Referee: Sam Reagle
Conditions: Sunny sky, muddy pitch.

With neither team consistently handling the ball adeptly, there were numerous scrums and few long multi-phase attacks. However, due to many strong individual efforts, there were some good runs and hard tackles. Redding scored first with a penalty kick from about 20 meters out, but Aptos scored an unconverted try 10 minutes later and a converted try just before the half ended to take a 12-3 lead into the second half.

The first 15 minutes of the second half was more of the same, a couple of passes and another knock-on or throw-forward to thwart the attack. On one occasion, one of the scrumhalfs knocked it on after his side stole the hook!

The last 25 minutes was a completely different game. Aptos got the ball out to their winger who made a nice run down the sideline before centering it for a converted try. Then they scored again in the corner after a multi-phase attack. Then, Redding scored between the posts using raw power straight up the middle. Then the Aptos winger scored again in the corner. And finally, Redding powered in a try off a 5 meter scrum after being held up at goal moments earlier.

PETALUMA 36 – Berkeley 0 Referee: Rob Hendrickson

Under beautiful skies but on a soggy pitch with long grass and standing water in several places, Petaluma came alive in the second half scoring 5 tries after a fairly static first half in which neither side could get any traction literally or figuratively. While Petaluma controlled the scrums and took advantage of a number of key chargedowns, Berkeley more than held their own in the lineouts and played tenacious defense. Petaluma's first try was scored after a chargedown with only 5 minutes left in the first half, under the posts and in a 4 inch deep puddle of standing water, the referee having to wait for the wave to subside before the ball became visible and the try could be confirmed.

Chico – Fog Referee: FORFEIT BY CHICO

MARIN over Humboldt by forfeit Referee: Rod Chance

Unfortunately, Humboldt had to forfeit due to the lack of numbers. It was decided to have a friendly game anyway. Humboldt was able to drag people from the sidelines, players from the previous high school game and out of the stands to put together a pretty good side that made Marin work for the win.

Monterey 0 – MISSION 54 Referee: Sandy Robertson

Mission's experience dominated Monterey's youth, running in 7 tries and booting 2 drop goals, including a wind-aided bomb that threatened to end up in the Central Valley.

VACAVILLE 18 – Reno 7 Referee: Mike Villierme

Nothing in the sky for the sun to hide behind, sun screen a necessity as the wind-swept pitch in Vacaville was almost totally dry. Couple of dead spots where sand had been applied made it tough on players and ref alike as you're motoring along on fast surface then, all of a sudden, bogged down "on the beach".

Vacaville is a well organised and practiced side. They have a young team and several players in the scrum towards the end of the match I recognized from high school games I ref'd last year.

Reno came with a total of sixteen players, one a woman. She played tight head and I was ready to call for uncontested scrums but I never had to.

Both sides run north and south, not much east and west and the Reno eight and right side flank do not pass! Vacaville scored on a couple driving trys and once from a break from a scrum about 22 out.

I was anxious about this match as these are two contenders in Division three, both have some reputation for dodgey play but aside from one yellow and several penalties for the usual offside, etc., both clubs played hard and mostly within the law.

My thanks to both sides for a splendid match. I won't say I wish it could have gone on forever, no one is happier at full time than me!

SANTA ROSA JC 82 – San Jose State 0 Referee: Kat Todd-Schwartz
At Petaluma

I was scheduled to referee Chico men v. Fog in Chico, but Chico sadly forfeited on Friday night. Therefore, I was re-assigned to Santa Rosa JC v. San Jose State, played in Petaluma. San Jose is struggling this year and were outmatched. The first half was played almost entirely in the San Jose half, which was, incidentally, the very muddy half. The one benefit to the one sided match was that we then got to play the second half on the dry side of the field (which was a relief as I was knackered from the first half). The game was notable in that no one called me Lois or accused me of refereeing worse than my husband.


NEW MEXICO 30 – Cal Poly 25 Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
Touch Judges: Ron Myers and David Williamson

The Southern California league champions took on upstart New Mexico in an exciting, evenly contested rugby match under sunny skies. From the start, it was clear that Cal Poly was not on top form, as they uncharacteristically dropped several balls and seemed to overrun their passing lanes.

New Mexico poached several Cal Poly passes and helped themselves to an early lead. Cal Poly attacked wide through their backs, but did not have the support and continuity to assert control. New Mexico's most effective weapon was their Number 8, who often ran through multiple defenders in midfield before offloading the ball to his support. Cal Poly's dominant player was also their Number 8 (captain), but unforced Cal Poly errors often nullified his efforts.

New Mexico dominated the set pieces, winning numerous Cal Poly scrums and stealing several errant lineouts, which often led to long breaks by the UNM Number 8. The lead changed several times in the match, but in the end, New Mexico held on for a deserving victory and place in the Cal Invitational Finals.

CALIFORNIA 67 – Colorado 27 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
Touch Judges: Ron Myers and David Williamson

We had a real barn burner in the first half of the Cal versus University of Colorado semi-final on Saturday.

Both teams came out ready to play, trading tries through out the first half. First one team would score and then the other would answer right back, with a total of 9 tries scored in the first half, 5 by Cal and 4 by Colorado. The only difference was Cal converted 3 of their tries, but Colorado only converted one. Score at halftime Cal 31 Colorado 22.

The second half was a different story, as Cal scored 6 tries to only 1 for Colorado.


CAL POLY 37 – Colorado 17 Referee: Rich Anderson
Touch Judges: Ron Myers, Ron Gore (EMRRS)
Evaluator: David Williamson

The Consolation Match of the 10th Annual Cal Invitational was played on Sunday in Berkeley. Many referees, past and present, congregated at the field referee pit, also conveniently known as the Beer Gardens.

Cal Poly was the sharper team early in the match, capping many successful forward movements with long passes to the wings for tries.

The match slowed a bit in the middle, as both teams seemed to be showing the effects of their 2nd match in two days. Poly never trailed and regained form late in the match to cap the scoring.

It should be noted, that after the match and throughout the afternoon, referees, both past and present, continued their heady discussions in the Beer Garden, er, referee pit.


CALIFORNIA 55 – New Mexico 7 Referee: Pete Smith
Touch Judges: Ed Todd, Bruce Carter
Evaluator: Paul Rosenzweig (Potomac and MARFU)

Sunday was off the Witter Field in Berkeley for the finals of the Cal Invitational between the University of New Mexico and California. Sorry to cut straight to the final score of 55-7 in favor of California on this one, but considering the way the game went I wanted to talk about a singular aspect of the game from a referee perspective-Touch Judges.

It is not often that you are blessed with touch judges much less two of the quality that I was given on Sunday. Dr. Bruce Carter, our President, B1 referee and leader in touch judge innovations, and Mr. Ed Todd, Former National Panel Referee and current National Referee Development Officer; both men of which I have the utmost respect for and both of whom have generously given their time to me over the years in an effort to help me improve as a referee. Before the game, I confessed to Mr. Todd that I am seldom nervous from the crowd or the game itself, but rather an more so when there are a preponderance of other referees present who likely will be watching me perhaps more closely that the game itself or if my father is in attendance. As an ex-player, coach and manager, he tends to watch me with a critical eye. Mr. Todd quickly responded with a joke and I was beginning to feel a little more as ease.

Fortunately for me I had the TJ’s of the caliber I did as the game required their assistance on many critical decisions. By the assessors count they made three critical decisions, including a try, a non-try, and a red card. I would add a penalty that was awarded five meters out that resulted in a try, so by my count four critical decisions! This brings up two issues in my mind, the first of which, Touch Judging, if done properly, by a true team of three, is just that- a TEAM of three. Three people working together to provide the best product possible for the players and subsequently the fans. I think as a referee, you have an obligation to try and make the game better. I would go farther and say that as a team of three officials you are almost required to make the game better. As a kid growing up and going to my dad’s rugby games, I remember being given the touch flag (most of the time it was a bright colored sweatshirt or something someone else didn’t need) as early as ten years old! How in the world is a ten year old really going to help a referee or make the game any better? Obviously, the days of handing a kid on the sideline a touch flag I hope are over, however in many cases we have not come that far from those days. Primarily as a result of a referee shortage in general, more games are not officiated with a proper team of officials than are. It is typically only the higher level matches or games played at venues where there is more than one game and subsequently more than one referee present that get referee touch judges. I don’t think that only higher level games merit touch judges as it is seldom the level of play that dictate the need for additional officials. If you are reading this and are not already a referee or Certified Touch Judge, I urge you to consider taking the Touch Judge Certification course and make yourself available even if only to run touch at games after or before ones you are participating in.

The second point that I had to consider is “why did I need so much help from my Touch Judges on critical decisions?” My assessor asked me after the game what I felt was a weakness in my performance on the day and my response was my reliance on my touch judges. I had told Mr. Carter and Mr. Todd before the game that I would be looking to them a lot for help, but even I hadn’t guessed that I would have needed as much assistance as I did. I thought a lot about why and came to two conclusions, one good one not so good. The good is that I had full faith and trust in the decisions of my touch judges and was willing to delegate full authority to them using them as an extra pair of eyes. The not so good is that perhaps I trusted them too much and got lazy to the extent that I did not get around to the ‘other side’ of things to see what I was missing and relied on their eyes to see for me. Luxury?! Or the way it should be??

Regardless, I think the moral is if you are lucky enough to get touch judges, use them, but be careful to not stop doing the things you need to do as a referee. Don’t take them for granted, but don’t get lazy either and count on them


STANFORD women 125 – Nevada 0 Referee: Sandy Robertson

Make up of league match from February 18

Stanford's attacking game hit on all cylinders with their running angles and well timed offloads too much for the Reno women. The Reno women competed throughout the contest, adapted defensively, and in the 2nd half maintained some possession and made Stanford work harder for its scores.

CALIFORNIA women 39 – Dartmouth 0 Referee: Kat Todd-Schwartz
Treasure Island

Dartmouth is on a fairly ambitious tour and next heads down to SoCal for three matches. The score was 15 to 0 at the half, with five more Cal tries in the second half. Dartmouth pressured well and forced Cal backline handling errors in the first half. Cal was able to adapt in the second half and we had more continuity. I issued one yellow card to Dartmouth for team repeat infringements at the tackle. The Dartmouth coach kindly advised me after the game that she found that decision "disturbing"; due in part to the fact that Cal were allegedly infringing as much if not more, and that the binned player had just been substituted on. However, the coach then complimented my positioning! Overall, I took her opinion to be that I was in the correct position, but I just did not do enough once I was there!

After the game, I returned to Fisherman's Wharf, where I had dropped East Mids visitors Nicola and Gary for the Alcatraz tour. The tourists were happy, especially Gary, who was not convinced earlier he would be let back off the island. We then went to Cal, for the last 25 minutes of Pete's game (the final). We then retired to the Williamson's for a late afternoon repast. After being thoroughly entertained by tourist Ron, it was time for me to return to Sacto. Admittedly, I was very sad to say goodbye to our East Mid friends. That is the trouble with making friends from so far away; you almost never get to see them.

(Unless of course, you are a jet setting rugger who can just 'pop' over the pond for things like weddings.)


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

This was an evenly contested game with both sides displaying their particular strengths, which for Hayward was up front and the backs of Olympic. Olympic posted the first score from a penalty and by half time has a comfortable lead. Hayward used their forwards to good effect to narrow the gap. In the second half Olympic displayed an impressive back move resulting in a try and giving them a lead of 25-10. With then used their forwards to good effect to come within 10 points of the visitors. Olympic then had to withstand a relentless forward effort from Hayward for 11 minutes and it was only a lack of concentration that allowed Olympic to turn over the ball and clear their lines. A silly piece of play by a Hayward player resulted in an early yellow which may have contributed to the overall good discipline. This game was a pleasure to referee.


Southern California had asked me to stay the weekend and referee @ Sunday's Youth tournament in Fullerton. In the final Alan Petty’s Elsie Allen team played Shawnigan Lake from British Columbia. Elsie Allen were victorious 22-7. They controlled the match from the beginning playing hard nosed, smash mouth rugby. The Canadians would have preferred to play a finesse game but were unable to do so thanks to hard tackling and running. Elsie’s loose head and hooker are both very talented and stole 4 tight heads at the scrum.

On Saturday OMBAC played host to St Louis. OMBAC won 55-22. OMBAC is fast and has great support players. Saturday's match against SFGG will be a fantastic game.


NorCal High School Girl's Scrimmage:
ALAMEDA RIPTIDE 41 – Berkeley 0 Referee: Paul Berman
Venue: Encinal HS, Alameda, Kick-off 11:40.
Weather: Sunny & bright
Comments: Both teams played with a lot of heart.

Highlight/Play of the Game: Brushing off the cobwebs with the ladies from our neighbouring town. Watching so many rookies getting their "feet wet" and first taste of our magical game.

Points spread: Alameda – 7 tries, 3 conversions

Friday, March 17

MONTGOMERY 28 – Sonoma Valley 12 Referee: Joe Leisek
Hanna Boys Center, Sonoma

A game played very close in the first half, but Montgomery used size and strength to advantage in the second 35 minutes. Both teams have improved immensely since last season.

Silicon Valley 5 – LIVE OAK 10 Referee: Gary Malpas
Referee Coach: Tom Martinez

PENINSULA GREEN 53 – Aptos 12 Referee: John Pohlman

A bit of a playoff atmosphere at Woodside High School this past Saturday when Peninsula Green hosted Aptos. The winner of this game would still in the playoffs and loser would be eliminated.

Peninsula Green is led by captain and center Zack along with #9 Travis. They both scored at least two tries. And seemed to always keep Peninsula Green moving forward.

Peninsula Green controlled most of the first half leading 31-0 until Aptos scored a late morale-boosting try at the end of the half.

The second half started with another try by Aptos and it looked the Beach Dogs were working themselves back into the game. Minutes later #9 Travis picked at the base of a scrum and sprinted in to stop the momentum shift.

Aptos did manage another score. Final Peninsula Green 53 Aptos 12.

DE LA SALLE 45 – Piedmont 7 Referee: Chris Parkhouse

Very much a game of two halves. DLS went in at half time with a 31 - 0 lead after making the most of some missed tackles and one or two errors near the goal line. Piedmont came out in the second half having put the first 35 minutes behind them and gave as good as they got. It was very evenly matched in the second half the deciding try and conversion coming in the last seconds of the game.

LOS ALTOS 41 – College Park 15 Referee: Bart Nielsen

Evenly played first half (12-8) but LA came out in the 2nd running and CP looked tired. No incidences to speak off. A clean game.

From Friday, March 10:

Cougars 0 – JESUIT 48 Referee: Ron Gore (EMRRS)

The high score for the visitors does little to justify the efforts of the home side. Del Campo although outplayed did not give up and continued to play positive rugby and tackled relentlessly throughout. Had they not done so the score would have been much higher. The discipline throughout the game from both sides was a credit to the players.

The pitch was well marked out with the only omission being a warning sign for the swamp at one end between the 22m, goal line and the 15m lines. Fortunately only one player decided to venture through this area on his way to scoring and as I had had the necessary inoculations I confidently followed and reached the other side unscathed. The game ended as the hail began.


Under the revised qualification system, the USA opens its World Cup campaign against West Indies champion Barbados on Saturday, July 1, in Santa Clara.

We are so lucky!



“Where never is heard a discouraging word.”

We dare you to find a dour countenance among this band of brothers and sisters:

Standing: Kat Todd-Schwartz, Ray Schwartz, Nicola Reynolds, Elaine Baggott, Ron Gore, David Williamson, Dixon Smith, Ian Baggott

Not standing: Karen Tustin, Bob Tustin, Leah Martinez, Bruce Carter, Gary Malpas

Otherwise supported: Two pelicans


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris