REMARKS BY A VERY PROUD SOCIETY PRESIDENT
Pete Smith, Tony Latu and Jim Crenshaw have all had above-grade games in the last two weeks.
Unfortunately for them, it is unlikely that any of them will have another game to referee at a high-enough level to earn another above-grade report and formally merit promotion until quite a few months go by.
The season is too short.
Some Pelicans will recall that, twice in the last six years, the society president remarked at the beginning of the season that our referee society was not strong enough at the top end to adequately cover all of the fantastic games that we have at the upper levels.
This is no longer true.
We now have a coterie of national-level referees who lack only wider recognition, and a flock of ascending referees who are going to challenge for those higher-level games in the next couple of seasons.
Hard work by referees in a vacuum leads only to improvement. Hard work by referees in a society and a territory blessed with equally hard-working coaches, assessors and evaluators leads to promotion!
The NCRRS Board of Directors, recognizing that the worm has fully turned, that NorCal and Pacific Coast games alone do not provide enough opportunities for our deserving referees, has authorized a substantial increase in the number of exchanges at all levels.
We are embarking on a new era in Pelicanland, an era where the sky is being raised to allow more birds to fly higher. There will be promotion chances throughout the year for those who are willing to maintain game fitness and travel the whole calendar around.
We are especially going to focus on fifteens exchanges to the East Coast and Canada in the summer and autumn, as well as more Sevens exchanges for the sheer exhilaration of that sport!
Any referee who is improving and wants a chance to prove it on a bigger stage can expect an exchange every year.
Make your desires known! The days are coming when we will go from strength to strength. The flock will prove that the past has merely been prologue.
REFS NEEDED MAY 5-6
Touch judges are needed Friday for the four college D1 semifinals this Friday at Stanford.
Ed Todd assures us that NorCal touch judges will be used for three of the four finals on Saturday. With this in mind, we could use some more volunteers.
Bear in mind, however, that we also have at least six games elsewhere that need refs, four high school games, a men’s club friendly, and a touring side.
PLEASE LET US KNOW SOONEST IF YOU WOULD PREFER TO REFEREE ON SATURDAY OR IF YOU CAN RUN TOUCH AT STANFORD. We need to get the names of the TJs to the national office.
WHY WE REF, PART TEN MILLION
While you’re still waiting for springtime to arrive in NorCal in earnest, Paul Bretz is spending ten days in the Caribbean.
Saturday past he refereed the home Caymans versus Barbados in a World Cup qualifier. (We have not yet managed to find the results of this match on the Internet.)
Saturday next Paul will referee the Caymans against Canada’s U21 side.
These are IRB appointments, and well earned!
ROCCA FIELD REVEALED
San Francisco Golden Gate’s lovely but formerly anonymous pitch on Treasure Island now has a name to match the legends it is sure to engender: Rocca Field.
We have congratulated the team on its many accomplishments over the years. We now celebrate its wisdom in the bestowal of this particular honor.
THANKS TO THE THANKFUL, HAPPILY PASSED ALONG
I just to personally thank you and everybody at NCRRS for their wonderful job this weekend in Berkeley. I know I speak for Jason, Bob and Tim when I say we greatly appreciate the support on and off the pitch and what a joy it is to come to an event such as this. Please extend our thanks to:
Bruce Carter, Jim Crenshaw, David Williamson and Scott Wood on Friday (and the special tour of the hills above Berkeley and dinner at the Pyramid Alehouse)
Jim Crenshaw (he couldn't stay away, kind of like watching a car accident), Pete Smith, Deb Hart, John Coppinger, Chris Parkhouse, Scott Wood, and Rob Hendrickson on Saturday.
Scott Wood, David Williamson, Kat Todd-Schwartz and Rob Hendrickson (especially the timely ride to my Airport Shuttle - Thanks Rob!) on Sunday.
I know you had quite a few obligations to fulfill this last weekend, but your Society still managed time to support us. My hat's off to everybody who made a contribution and you all did.
And please thank Dixon Smith and Bryan Porter for their company and wisdom this weekend.
See you on a pitch somewhere,
Hello Dr. Bruce Carter,
On behalf of the Host Committee of the National College Championship Playoffs Pools A and B at the University of California, I would like to thank you and the other Pelican referees for an outstanding job in staffing the matches.
It shows once again how fortunate we are in the NCRFU to have the Pelican Referee's Society officiating our matches, as always, at such a high level of competency and organization.
We look forward to the next opportunity.
Jerry Figone, Host
National College Championship Playoffs - Pools A and B
University of California
TOUCH JUDGE CHECKLIST
Our old friend Steve Womersley of the East Midlands has put together a checklist for touch judges. It has been forwarded to us and endorsed for your reading by Tom Jones and Ed Todd.
It is specifically designed to help move your mindset from refereeing to running touch.
If you have not received a copy of it and would like one, please respond.
USA PLAYOFFS: D1, COMPETITIVE REGION ONE RESULTS
Huntington Beach 28 – SAN MATEO 34
LAS VEGAS 21 – Olympic Club 17
HAGGIS 44 – Back Bay 22
HAYWARD 19 – Santa Monica 15 Referee: Tony Latu
Touch Judges: Jim Crenshaw, Bruce Carter
Fourth Official: Giles Wilson
When you have these two good refs running touch for you, you are blessed. But when you have two 'B' Panel refs watch your back...priceless.
The reigning D-1 champ traveled to NorCal in style to try to maintain their run for another one, back to back titles. But Hayward was in the way, as they searched for a National berth. The game was moved to 7:30 (1930) kick off. And SM drew first blood. They controled the games but mistakes allowed Hayward to hang around. SM on several occasions tried to put the game away, but knocks on helped Hayward.
At the final whistle Hayward prevailed 19-15. I am sure that one of these teams will be at the Final.
Final Order of Finish, Competitive Region One
Top Five Advance to sweet sixteen May 13-14
(standings take into consideration bonus points)
2 - 0:
1 - 1:
0 - 2:
GIRLS’ HIGH SCHOOL SEASON GETS UNDERWAY
ALAMEDA RIPTIDE 34 – Fairfield Panthers 5
It is remarkably the front end of the high school girls’ season. To their infinite credit, the night before the junior prom 17 valiant Panthers and supporters slugged their way through Friday afternoon traffic for their second match.
Alas, the more experienced Alameda ladies figured it out about 20 minutes in and prevailed.
BURBANK AMAZONS 15 – Davis High School 12 Referee: Kat Todd-Schwartz
In Sacramento (Nielson Park)
The Amazons pulled out a win by scoring in the last play of the game. Davis had dominated early on, scoring two tries within the first 10 minutes of the game. They were shut out thereafter. This was the first game for the Amazons this year, but both teams were pretty inexperienced. When the Davis thrower was hesitant to throw the ball into a lineout, I advised "Let's have it, Davis." misunderstanding, she then promptly tossed me the ball. Not exactly what I had in mind but it did afford me time to caution her on her throw!
BOYS’ HIGH SCHOOL PLAYOFFS
Quarterfinal at St. Mary’s, Wednesday, 6 PM:
LAMORINDA 49 – Montgomery 21 Referee: Chris Parkhouse
Montgomery in only their third year of formation put up an impressive fight against a strong Lamorinda side who will now move on to face Jesuit on Saturday. Lamorinda had a strong first 35 mins spending most of the half in Montgomery territory and running in six tries with a single conversion to lead 32 - 0 at the half. The pick of the tries was a driving maul from ten yards out from a line out set piece.
The second half began in the same vein as the first with Lamorinda running in their first try of the half with only two minutes gone. Lamorinda began to ring the changes and Montgomery sprang to life. They continued to battle, never dropped their heads and were rewarded when their number 7 dove in between the posts. Two more tries in quick succession, including a second from the number 7, saw the score move to 39 - 21 with ten minutes still remaining in the game. More than enough time for Montgomery to come back. However, great work again from the forwards of Lamorinda was rewarded with another try. The pick of the tries came from the very last play of the game. With time out due with the next dead ball, Lamorinda won possession at a scrum within their own half and then proceeded with swift hands and a neat scissor move, to run down the field, number 14 eventually kicking ahead past two defenders to score 10 m in from touch.
I'm sure in years to come if Montgomery continues to show this type of progress, that they will begin to emerge as a force at this level.
JESUIT 43 – Lamorinda 8 Referee: Pete Smith
ELSIE ALLEN 22 – Hayward 14 Referee: Joe Leisek
Touch Judges: Bo Rodman, Matt Eschoo
Another hard-hitting, intense battle at the Lobodome. Heavy tackling, persistent multi-phase play, very intense atmosphere. Four tries for the hosts, two for the visitors. A close game throughout, with Elsie ahead 10-7 at halftime. Lots of excellent athletes on the field, with Elsie proving more technically proficient and disciplined. A spirited, very physical contest.
Semifinal to be played Tuesday evening at 6 PM:
Vacaville – Elsie Allen Referee: Jim Crenshaw
TOUCH JUDGES NEEDED
FINAL, SATURDAY MAY 6:
Home team depends on who wins Tuesday
Jesuit – Elsie Allen or Vacaville Referee: Tony Latu
TOUCH JUDGES NEEDED
TIER TWO ACTION SIZZLES
In exciting post-season quarterfinal action, Peninsula Green forfeited to Burbank. This was matched in intensity by a fine forfeit victory, Santa Rosa succumbing to Golden Gate without taking the pitch.
Not satisfied to end the season with a forfeit victory, Golden Gate then forfeited to Burbank in the half-final, putting an end to their string of walkovers.
Burbank thus finds themselves having negotiated the first two rounds of the playoffs perfectly, without so much as a single knock-on to mar their record.
Meanwhile, Rio Rugby, having physically gotten into automobiles and driven to Aptos to play and win a game of rugby football in person, actually sweating and running around and risking getting dirty, that sort of thing, will play the winner of:
Friday, April 28:
Sonoma– Antioch Referee: Bo Rodman
No report received.
Wednesday, May 3, Semi-final:
Rio Rugby – Sonoma/Antioch Referee: ?
TIER TWO FINAL, SATURDAY MAY 6:
Burbank – Rio/Sonoma/Antioch Referee: ?
OTHER RUGBY GAMES
Sac State Women 5 – SAC STATE ALUM 15 Ref: Todd-Schwartz
The alumnae pulled out a win over their younger sisters (and all remained 'right' in the tradition of all such games). Alumnae were assisted in this effort by one or two Aggie Alum and a handful of Amazons. The lack of goal posts resulted in a brief discombobulated moment by the ref early in the first half, but a swift recovery was had with appropriate orientation for the rest of the game. The last 10 minutes of the game were particularly spirited and well contested by both teams.
SOBs 9 v NOBs 4 Referee: Ray Schwartz
Danny Nunn Park, Sacramento
On the artful strength of my handling the SFGG v Hayward/Clowns last weekend, I was lucky enough to draw a local... a mere ten miles east on Florin Road. Sunny and warm as the Nevada Old Boys were gathering to test the Sacramento Old Boys. One interesting note on a personal level, this would be the first time I reffed Brick, though Sam Reagle reffed me many a time years ago at Ruggerfests past...
Fred Forrester, NOBs venerate captain, pulled out his lawbook from '34-'35, and pleased to be reassured that not much has changed in the book over time. The NOBs lacked full strength and fielded two U-21 players, including Meesha, a lovely Lady Wolfpacker.... I found Brick rather humorous early on. He seemed to be offering a running commentary to his side, while he and they struggled to interpret my calls.
Most players appreciated my spoken desire to help all play good and clean rugby, some even believed it, but one NOB rugger, Guy Walsh, collected penalties with relish! As sunny as it was, it was absolutely blinding as all engaged legally in a ruck and then Guy's bright orange-haired, and heavily freckled arm would reach down and slap the ball!
Periods of 15 minutes each, with a few minutes extra, lead to 50 minutes of a fun run, and 9 tries to 4, with no kicks at goal. At one point, Sacramento's Captain Chris Bartholomew was breaking away at midfield for yet another try, and with no need for support. But Brick and I smiled to each other as we went for the sprint to the tryline anyway, as we both needed to work on our fitness! Meesha scored last, from a well earned run on the outside. Time for speeches and beverage.
Sac Old Boy John Brennan, though not present, awarded a ridiculously good deal to us at one of his Round Table Pizzas, just around the corner, and so all stayed until they couldn't eat or drink one more bit. Knee was a little better still, though still in the bionic brace. All was good.
THIS WEEK'S PHOTO
In Larriviere, in the southwest of France, the pilgrim will find the chapel of Notre Dame du Rugby.
Long time HP readers will recall we’ve run one of the stained glass windows from this church before. That one showed a lineout.
In this view, the baby Jesus offers a rugby ball to Mother Mary while in the foreground a scrum ensues.
For the Senate