HERE’S HOPING TO SEE YOU ALL WEEK
Wednesday evening the place to be is Buck Shaw Stadium, where the Eagles will take on the New Zealand Maori at 7:30 PM.
Thursday and Friday you should be attending the Pelicon, Rugby through the Looking Glass. If you want to attend, let Scott Wood know, and if you want a room at the conference hotel any of the nights involved let Robyn Clever know.
Friday night is our annual season-ending society banquet and awards ceremony.
Saturday there will be another Churchill Cup match followed by the Super League final in Santa Clara.
This is great stuff, and a great week to celebrate all that we have going for us in Northern California rugby refereeing.
ALL HAIL THE MISSION RUGBY CLUB!
MISSION 32 – Boston Irish Wolfhounds thirds 22 Referee: Tom Coburn
The notion of a national championship in the lowest division of play strikes some as oxymoronic.
But this writer has never met a rugby player who didn’t play to win, even if the odds against it were incalculable. If we bother to keep score, we need to know who is the best.
So the problem becomes: how do you define a third division side, to make the competition fair?
One criterion of a legitimate third division side could be that the boys might be found in the bar the night before the biggest match of most of their careers.
The Mission RFC met this criterion.
Another might be that on game day, they would hang around by the pool letting the hot sun dehydrate them, and then their pre-game prep once they got to the pitch would consist solely of playing bugger.
The Mission RFC also met this stipulation.
A third possibility could be that a friend of many on the team, a player from a rival side, would show up to support them and be declared Coach.
That would be Greg Melton, a player known to referees far and wide and now a national-championship coach!
Then, critically, this bunch would need to play some inspired rugby on the day to win the big one.
How about this: they miss a penalty kick, which bounces off the post, gather it by following up keenly and then, two phases later, calmly take a mulligan drop-goal.
So, by any definition, Mission is a third division side. And now they are the sixth Northern California national champion in the first seven titles to be awarded in 2006.
CALIFORNIA: THE LAND OF CHAMPIONS
Santa Monica won the first division title for the second year in a row, defeating the team that won it the previous two years, the Boston Irish Wolfhounds first side.
Congratulations to Hayward for finishing third. They lost to BIW and then defeated Las Vegas.
The super league champ will also hail from SoCal this year. As in 2004, when the final was played at Balboa, Belmont Shore and OMBAC will meet in NorCal again to decide the winner.
They will play at Buck Shaw Stadium following the Churchill Cup game on Saturday.
The California sweep was ruined when Pearl City beat Santa Barbara to win the second division. Pearl City completed a remarkable double, having won the USA third division last year.
WANT TO WATCH A GREAT GAME?
Mark your calendars for Wednesday, June 14, when the touring Cork Constitution (a top club from Ireland) will play a NorCal D1 selection at St. Mary’s at 6:30 PM.
Paul Bretz will referee. Touch judges are already covered. What the Pelicans would appreciate are fans!
HIGH SCHOOL ALL-STAR COMPETITION
SAC VALLEY 76 – Bay Conference 17 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
Skyhawk – Bay Referee: Pete Smith
Rescheduled? We’re not quite sure on this one.
Skyhawk – Sac Valley Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
WHO’S COMING TO THE BANQUET?
Please respond (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you plan to attend the annual society banquet at Paolo’s Restaurant in San Jose on Friday, June 9th.
We need to know how many to expect. Will you be bringing anyone along?
So far we have only heard from twenty-one people. Certainly, more of us are planning to come. Please do not assume we think you are going to be there if you haven’t said so.
ANYONE HAVE A COPY OF THE CAL- BYU GAME?
This writer was away on assignment and missed what we are told was an incredible game of college rugby.
In typical rugby fashion, promises to record a broadcast of the match and provide a copy for us were not kept.
We would like to think that in three years of videotaping about 150 referees and mailing copies of game DVDs to anyone who asks, never asking for postage or expenses, we have built up the good will and karma for someone to give us a copy.
Maybe we’re wrong.
CONFERENCE AND BANQUET REMINDER
The annual end-of-season banquet for our referee society will be Friday, June 9, at 7 PM. Plan now to attend, whether you will be able to attend the two-day conference or not.
We’ll be enjoying dinner and companionship at one of the South Bay’s finest restaurants:
333 W. San Carlos St.
San Jose, CA
The annual, attractive and much-coveted Pelican Awards will be presented. Don’t miss out!
‘Rugby Through the Looking Glass’, our two-day international conference for referees, will be well-worth your time and travel. David Williamson has arranged for a top-notch group of speakers for Thursday and Friday, June 8 and 9.
Plan to attend the conference and stay at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown San Jose. Call Robyn Clever at 800-675-3202 to make your arrangements.
FOG TAKE SECOND IN BINGHAM CUP
The Fog lost in the Bingham Cup final to a team from Sydney. This ends their run after coming in first in 2002 and 2004.
THIS WEEK'S PHOTO
The USA lost to Ireland A in Santa Clara. A good crowd was on hand, including sideline volunteers Tony Latu and Tina Nesberg.
Unfortunately, Tony and Tina must have been working when this photo was snapped. These volunteers have a lot to learn…
Right to Left: Event referee manager Colin Hawke, fifth official John Coppinger, sixth official Giles Wilson, fourth official Bruce Carter, and USA Rugby referee manager Ed Todd
For the Senate